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yy / mm / dd
Age Setting What Original
Video Comment
8 Summer? 7 Orphanage His mother abandoned him when he was 7 and he started living in an orphanage () from 22/05/31
9 08 30 Rooftop

Goes up on a roof in the middle of the night with a few older boys, cries at the sight of fireworks

I got up, rubbing at myeyes. The hyungs gestured like they wanted me to quietly follow them. Honestly, I wanted to sleep more. But I obeyed their words. We left the room quietly and went into the hallway. It was dark all around me. I wondered what time it was, but I had no way of knowing anything other than that it was past time to be asleep. We went up the stairs toward the roof and opened the metal door. Screech. At that noise, the hyungs came to a shocked pause and I did the same. We looked around.

We sat all together on the roof. "Why are we up here?" I asked.

The oldest hyung answered. "Just wait, Jung Hoseok."

At that moment, I heard an explosion, and the northern sky grew bright. I was so shocked I closed my eyes and curled up. It smelled like something was burning. "Wow," someone shouted, and the oldest hyung told them to be quiet. I peeked my eyes open and looked up at the northern sky. I heard the explosion again and stars appeared in the sky.

"Not stars—fireworks," hyung said.

The fireworks kept blooming. I laid down on the roof and looked up at the stars, fires, flowers that exploded in the sky. "Jung Hoseok is crying, he's crying," I heard the hvungs tease.

"Hey." I wiped my eyes with my sleeves. But the tears kept coming.


10 10 9

10 02 28 7 Outside supermarket

Wants to feed (stray?) dog because he wants to adopt him eventually, but another boy who turns out to be is already feeding him

Someone was crouching outside the supermarket. It was the first time I'd seen that hyung. He was playing with Dongyi. He pet him and fed him something like bread. We met eyes for a second, then I looked ahead in surprise and kept walking. I hid myself inside an alley and peeked out. Crap. Who is that? I put my hand in my pocket and touched the plastic bag that held my ham and toast. Crap. I tried so hard to hide it…

"Oh, Taehyung is here. What are you doing? Didn't you come to play with Dongyi?"

I jumped in surprise. It was the owner of the supermarket. The hyung from earlier lifted his head and looked at me. Crap. All because of this guy. Since I'd already been caught, I went out in front of the hyung.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Me?" He looked at me like he didn't know what he was supposed to say.

"Why are you playing with Dongyi?"

"What?" Again, he said nothing.

That was how I started talking with him. "My dad says when he earns a lot of money and we move into a big house, I can raise a dog. So I'm going to take Dongyi and raise him. Don't even think about being greedy, hyung."

Hyung nodded. "That sounds nice."

"Hyung, are you poor? So you can't raise a dog?"

"Money?" hyung said, looking at me. Then he shook his head. "I can't raise a dog."

"Ask your dad! My mom says dads are weak against nagging."

Hyung just nodded and kept petting Dongyi. Then he muttered, "That sounds nice."

I asked again, "So, who are you? What's your name, hyung?"

Hyung answered without looking up. "Me? Kim Seokjin."


07 23 9 School

Panic attackHas to count out loud, triggers memory of his mother abandoning him at amusement park and collapses

It was after counting to four that I heard the laughing sound like an auditory hallucination. The next moment, a younger version of me passed by, holding someone’s hand. I quickly turned around to look but there were only my classmates staring at me.

“Hoseok-ah.” The teacher called my name. And then I realized where I was. I was in class, in the middle of counting the fruits in the textbook. Five, six. I went back to counting but the higher it went, the more my voice shook and my hands started sweating. That memory of mine kept rising up.

I don’t remember my mom’s face from that day. I only remember she gave me a chocolate bar while I was at the amusement park. “Hoseok-ah. Count to ten and open your eyes.” I counted and when I opened my eyes, mom was no longer there. I waited and waited but she never came back. Counting to eight was the last. I only needed to count one more but my voice just wouldn’t come out. My ears rang and my surrounding became blurred. The teacher gestured me to continue. Friends stared at me. I couldn’t remember my mom’s face. It felt like if I count to ten, she would never go look for me.

I collapsed on the floor.

1229 7 Home

Abuse, alcoholismGets abused by his alcoholic father for the first time

I took off my shoes, tossed my bag and entered the room. Dad was really in there. I didn’t think about how long it had been, or where he just came back from. I simply just ran into his embrace. I have no memory of what happened next. Was it the alcohol smell that came first, was it the curses, or was it the slap. I had no idea what was happening. There was the alcohol smell and there was the ragged, foul breath. His eyes were bloodshot, beard grown coarsely. He slapped me in the cheek with his big hand. He slapped me in the cheek and asked what I was looking at. And then he lifted me into the air. His eyes were terrifying, but I was too scared to cry. It wasn’t dad. No, it was him. But it wasn’t. My feet were trembling in the air. The next moment, my head crashed against the wall, body slumping down to the floor. It felt like my head was bursting. My vision went in and out and soon darkened. The only thing left in my head was the sound of dad panting.

11 04 06 8 Arboretum

Doesn't wait for teacher after class picnic, gets lost running through the rain alone and ends up at a warehouse at the back entrance of the arboretum

I went out to the front gate of the arboretum alone. The weather was dull and chilly but I was in a good mood. It was picnic day but both mom and dad were busy. I was sullen at first, but after getting complimented at the flower drawing contest and hearing my friends’ moms saying “Jimin’s all grown up”, I felt like I was quite cool.

“Jimin, wait here. I’ll come quick,” the teacher told me after the picnic was over and we were about to leave the arboretum, but I didn’t wait. I was confident I could go by myself.

I clutched the straps of my backpack in both hands and walked with slow and stately steps. Sensing everyone staring at me, I straightened up my shoulders more. It was long after the rain had started. All my friends and their moms left, no one was there to look at me and my legs hurt. I covered my head with the backpack and squatted down under the tree. The rain slowly began to pour down harder and there was no one passing by. I eventually started to run in the rain. No house or shop was in sight. I reached the back gate of the arboretum. There was a warehouse just inside the gate.

He's 8 years old (22/07/04); ended in traumatic experience
12 07 21 12

09 30 Next to a sinkhole

Inspects sinkhole and almost falls in, sees sharp light in the hole that looks like another hole inside this one

I walked toward where everyone was gathered. What was going on? It seemed like the first time I'd seen so many people gathered in a place that wasn't school or an amusement park. The sound of their conversation was scary. "What is this? I can't live like this, I'm so scared," someone said as they passed. I slipped between people's legs and made my way to the front. I was afraid, but also curious.

It was a huge hole. The hole drilled down into the earth. They called it a sinkhole. I moved a little closer. I wanted to see what was inside the hole. Even though it was midday, I couldn't see inside. All I could see were tree roots and things like that emerging from the mud where it had caved in. I took another step forward. "Be careful!" someone shouted. The toe of my sneaker went into the hole. The dirt collapsed and my balance wavered. I took a step back in shock. At that moment, I saw something glittering sharply inside the hole. It seemed at once like light and like another hole inside the hole.


15 05 21 's Home

Comes home late to unusually empty house, feels uneasy, phone rings until he eventually picks it up

I went quietly into the entryway. As I slowly turned the handle, I looked around for signs of anything amiss. I couldn't hear a single sound. I put my head in and looked around. But the house was dark. I took a single step inside. "Mom?" I called out. But there was no answer. I started to reach for the light switch. But then I looked around again. It was past nine. There was no way nobody would be home "Mom," I called again, but it was silent.

I was home a little later than usual. Ordinarily I had to help my mom as soon as school ended. But I wanted to play with my friends at least once. That was why I was home so late without even calling. But there was no one at home. A strangely chilly feeling came over me, and I held my arms in my hands and stood in the dark living room.

Suddenly the phone rang. The chill spread. The phone was ringing, but for some reason I felt like I shouldn't pick it up. It was an anxious feeling like if I answered it, everything would change—like I would never be able to go back to the person who I was right then. But the phone kept ringing, and I eventually made my way to it. Then I lifted the receiver.


07 25 's Home

He's forced to play piano but can't concentrate so he improvises instead, his mom gets angry, he snaps and throws mom's trophy at the piano


As soon as I entered the living room, I sat in front of the piano. There was no time to even wipe my sweat. I wiped my sticky palms on my T-shirt. My mother opened the sheet music. I couldn't quite make it out. I blinked. I had spent the last hour running around under the blazing sunshine. My heart was pounding so hard I couldn't hear the sound of my own breathing. Sweat ran down my spine and soaked the small of my back. My fingers trembled.

"Min Yoongi, you can't even play Chopin yet, is this the time for you to start composing?" My mother tapped the sheet music. What had I played before? I couldn't recall. "Again, from the beginning," my mother said in a low voice. Again. Again. Again. I played the same page over and over. My body was still warm and I was still sweating. My mind was blank and I felt like throwing up. Maybe that was why. I ignored the sheet music and ignored my mother and played with the emotions that seemed to explode from inside me. My mother grabbed my hands and pulled them away from the keyboard. "This isn't the right emotion!" she said.

"Please stop!" I shouted as I shot up from my seat. My mother stared at me, frozen. "Stop it. Please stop it." I spit out whatever words I could find. I jumped in place and tore at my hair. Then, finally, I grabbed my mother's trophy and threw it at the piano. One of the keys broke and flew forward, brushing my cheek.


16 06 21 14

09 19 16 Outside his home

Minor character death (implied)Watches his house burn and crumble down, numbly says his mother isn't inside but the people around him doubt him

The flames blazed with a scarlet red. The house I lived in until this morning was devoured by the fire. People who recognized me approached me and shouted something. Neighbors scurried over. They said the fire truck couldn’t enter because they couldn’t secure an entrance. I stood still.

It was at the end of the summer, autumn was starting. The sky was blue and the air was dry. I didn’t know anything, not what I was supposed to think, not what I was supposed to feel, not what I was supposed to do. And then I thought, “Oh, mom.” The next moment, the house collapsed with a thundering crash. The house that had been devoured by the fire, no, now it had become the fire itself, along with the roof, the pillars, the walls, the room I lived in, they collapsed down like a sand castle. I watched them in a daze.

Someone pushed me aside. They said the fire truck came. Someone else grabbed me and asked. They looked me in the eyes and shouted something, but I heard nothing.

“Who’s inside?” I blankly looked at them. “Is your mom inside?” They grabbed my shoulder and shook. Unknowingly, I answered. “No. No one’s inside.” “What are you talking about?” The auntie next door said. “What about your mom? Where’s your mom?” “There’s no one there.” I had no idea what I was saying. Someone pushed and walked past me.

His mother died in the fire
? ? 16 Burned down house After the funeral, he visits the ruin of his house and picks up one of the burned keys from his mother's piano from 20/06/25
17 08 20 (Dream), Hospital

Dreams about successful dance performance and parents' approval, wakes up in tears in hospital bed

It was a clear day. The sky was blue and the air was fresh my mother and father and I left the house in the car. The music in the car was exciting, and I rolled down the back window and stuck my hand out. The yellow gingko leaves were falling like rain. I stretched out my hand to try to catch one. But I didn't even come close. "Jimin, you'll get hurt," my mom said, looking back at me. "What will you do if you get hurt and can't go onstage?"

I walked atop the stage. Above me, bright white lights were shining down. The floor shook with the rhythm. I danced among many friends. We all lifted up and all came down together, then moved left and looked at each other. My friends and me alike were all breathless. Even so, we smiled when we saw each other. There was a flood of applause. We went toward the audience and bowed. At a distance I could see my mother and father standing and applauding. They smiled when they saw me.

When I opened my eyes, I was looking up at the hospital room ceiling. Tears welled up in my eyes. I knew it was a dream. But I didn't want to wake up. I wanted to stay within that applause, under that rain of gingko lives, but no matter what, the morning always came and the dream always disappeared.


09 11 13

18 05 02 16 His neighborhood

Returns from hospital with dad to find they got evicted, they move their belongings to a storeroom, is frustrated about his responsibilities

As we entered the alley, I saw furniture and household goods piled up on the street. "Namjoon-ah, what's going on?" my father asked, breathing with some difficulty. We were on the way back from the hospital. It was only a hundred-odd meters from the bus stop to our house, but my father struggled even with that. I ran toward our house. My mother was crouched against the wall behind the piles of household goods, and when she saw me she straightened up. "Namjoon-ah, what should we do?" She said that she had fought with the landlord's son, who had come to collect the rent that my younger brother hadn't paid.

I brought my father to the storeroom behind the neighborhood supermarket. As I moved the furniture, my mother cleared up the dishes and food items. Soon, the storeroom was full of all the things from our two-room apartment. There were things I wanted to throw away, but to do that, we needed money. When it was all done, it was nighttime. My back ached and I was sweating. My mother gave me chopsticks, telling me to eat at least a little, but I couldn't force anything down.

It was stuffy in the storeroom, so I went out to sit on the wooden benches by the supermarket. My mother asked, "Namjoon-ah, where did Namhyun go?" I shouted back, "How am I supposed to know?" Namjoon-ah. Namjoon-ah. Namjoon-ah. I was tired of it. I regretted telling him to live without being discouraged. Even if we could withstand a few days in the storeroom, what were we supposed to do after that? I couldn't think of anything. The super-market ahjusshi set down a can of beer and went back inside.


12 10 14 New middle school

Enters new school ground and recalls vibrant childhood memory of trying to do a 360 degree turn on a swing

When my mom said we were almost there, I used my sleeve to wipe away the steam that had fogged up the car window. Through the window, I could see a sign that said Songju Jeil middle school. My mom had said that there were no more schools I could attend in Munhyeon, and that I didn't know what a relief it was that Songju Jeil middle school had agreed to take me. I had transferred schools many times while in and out of the hospital. How long would I last at this school? While I was thinking, we passed through the school gate and into the exercise yard. There was nobody there, maybe because of the cold. My mom parked the car in a corner with a swing and a set of chin-up bars.

I looked at the chin-up bars as I got out of the car. When I look back on my childhood, there's one memory that stands out clearly. A memory of a sky so blue it may as well be from a movie, and of white clouds flinging themselves at me with frightening speed. Before what happened at the flowering arboretum, I had liked playgrounds so much it was almost weird. My mom said I would go out in the morning and play at the playground until nighttime. What I liked the most was the swings. I would kick my feet hard and bring myself so close to the sky I'd get dizzy. I liked that feeling, exciting but a little scary.

One day, I got curious about what it would be like to ride the swing all the way around. It was something none of the neighborhood kids had ever done. I told my friends to push my back with all their strength, and I used my whole body to go higher and higher. The blue sky and white clouds rushed toward me. At the highest point, I was overcome by vertigo and I fell off the swing. When I opened my eyes I was laying in the sand. I had a handful of sand in my mouth, and my knees were scraped and bleeding, but strangely, it didn't hurt. I was just mad that I hadn't managed to swing all the way around.

I remember how I looked riding the swing, like I'm borrowing it from other people's memories. Maybe that Park Jimin, who swung that intently, is growing up somewhere I don't know, looking just like that, with just that personality. I looked at the swing with those thoughts in my mind, and then I heard my mom calling me. I headed toward the school doors. Songju Jeil middle school. It was the fifth school I'd attended.


19 03 02 All School They all come late but receive punishment to clean the storage classroom together, they laugh about it together BTS Begins from 20/07/17 and 19/03/12
19 Principal's office

Held back a year in school after return from the U.S., told he has to follow rules and keep principal informed, feels intimidated/scared

There was a damp smell in the principal's office where dad led me into. Ten days after returning from the US, I was told yesterday that due to difference in school system, I would be held back a year. "Please look after him." Dad put his hands onto my shoulder and I unknowingly flinched. "School is a dangerous place. There have to be regulations". The principal looked straight at me. The wrinkled skin around his cheeks and mouth quivered whenever he talked and inside his dark lips was pure, dark red. "Don't you agree, Seokjin?" I hesitated at the sudden question and dad immediately squeezed my shoulder harder. His grip was so strong that it made my neck muscles throb. "I believe he will do well." The principal continued to look me into the eye and dad's grip slowly getting stronger and stronger. I clenched my fists at the bone-breaking pain. My body was shaking and breaking out in a cold sweat. "You know you have to keep me informed, right? You need to become a good student." The principal looked at me with a smileless face. "I understand." I narrowly squeezed out an answer and in an instant the pain was gone. There was the sound of dad and the principal laughing. I couldn't lift my head up. I looked down at dad's brown shoes and the principal's black ones. I didn't know where the light was coming from, but they were glinting. I was scared of that glint.

12 16

15 19 Lunch at school

Feels unusually comfortable, doesn't normally speak during meals because his father reprimanded him for it but tells to keep the food he stole from him

Lunch was especially good that day. It was weird, because it was just an ordinary school lunch. I didn't show it. That kind of thing didn't suit me. As usual, I sat carelessly in my chair and held my utensils between my fingers like I couldn't be bothered to lift it. But today's lunch was definitely good. Taehyung and Jungkook were raising a fuss about getting some sunlight, hitting the curtains and changing their seats, and there was dust in the air. Namjoon shouted at them to at least be quiet while we were eating. I held my spoon as I thought. How long had it been since I'd eaten this comfortably.

For as long as I remembered, there hadn't been conversation at our family's table. No one said the food was good, or asked for more, or said they'd eaten well. To our family, meals were no more or less than something we had to do as part of our daily routine. "Min Yoongi, no talking at the table." I didn't remember exactly when my father had said that to me. All that remained was the huge sound of his utensils as he set them down. He hadn't raised his voice or gotten angry. No, he hadn't even been looking at me. Even so, I shut my mouth. I cut off my own words and instead stuffed a huge bite into my mouth. Then I bit the inside of my cheek. I tasted coppery blood. It hurt, and tears came to my eyes. But I didn't say that it hurt. I couldn't speak at the table. I forced myself to chew the bloody rice and swallowed.

Someone stole a side dish from my lunch tray. I scowled in spite of myself, but I wasn't unhappy or annoyed. That was just my normal reaction to everything. Hoseok called out, "Yoongi-hyung is mad, Taehyung, what are you gonna do?" And Taehyung made a show of being overly sorry. It was a very Hoseok-and-Taehyung-like thing, not a bit out of place. Despite myself, I bit out, "It's fine. You eat it." But another noisy round of talk and laughter burst out. Nobody realized that I had spoken during a meal.


0528 14 Storage classroom

Asks the others about dreams, realizes he doesn't have one

“What’s your dream?” At my words, the hyungs turned around. “I need to fill in the career survey, so,” I said evasively. “Well,” Seokjin-hyung said, “I don’t think I have any dream. If there’s anything I wish for, maybe to become a good person?” He slurred at the end as if embarrassed. Yoongi-hyung, who was sprawling on the piano stool, then replied impassively. “It’s okay to have no dream. I don’t have such thing as dreams. I’m just gonna become anyone.” Everyone bursted into laughter at his typical answer.

“I’m gonna be a superhero. I’ll save the world from the villains.” Taehyung-hyung quickly climbed up the chair posing with his arm raised as Hoseok-hyung scolded him, “You’re gonna get hurt from messing around, get down now.” Then he added. “I want to find my mom and live happily. My dream is to be happier.” He cracked a happy-looking smile. “Does that mean you’re miserable now?” Jimin-hyung asked. “Does it?” Hoseok-hyung made a funny face, seemingly contemplating about it. He asked back Jimin-hyung. “What’s your dream?” “Me” Jimin-hyung blinked like he’s taken aback. “When I was in kindergarten I wanted to become the President, but afterwards, I’m not so sure what I want to become anymore,” he replied.

Only Namjoon-hyung was left now. Seemingly noticed everyone’s stare, he shrugged and said. “I wanted to give you some nice words, but I don’t really have any dream. I just want my part-time hourly pay to rise.” I nodded and looked down at the school newsletter. The job section of the newsletter was divided into two blanks, one for student and one for parents. What do I want to be? I couldn’t think of anything to write there.

06 12 19School neighborhood

Everyone skips school, panics seeing sign for the arboretum, they decide to walk to the station to go to the ocean instead

I skipped school and went out, but the truth is I had nowhere to go. It was hot, I had no money, nothing to do. It was Namjoon who suggested going to the ocean. The kids seemed excited but I didn’t really feel like going, nor did I hate going. “Do you have any money?” At my words, Namjoon made everyone empty their pockets. Some coins and a few notes. Then we can’t go. It was probably Taehyung who said we could walk. Namjoon made a face like he’s telling him to think about it and everyone chattered away, laughing and pretending to roll around on the road while walking. I wasn’t in the mood to respond so I just lagged behind. The sun was scorching. It was the middle of the day, not even the trees on the sides could cast any shade and on the road with no sidewalk, cars were passing, leaving clouds of dust behind.

“Let’s go there”. This time, it was Taehyung too. Or was it Hoseok? I wasn’t interested so I didn’t take a good look, but it was one of those two. I had my head lowered, strolling while kicking at the ground, but lifted my head up as I bumped into someone and nearly fell. Jimin was standing nailed to the spot. His face was shaking like he saw something very scary. “Are you okay?” I asked but it seemed like he couldn’t hear me. Where Jimin was staring stood a sign that said the arboretum was 2.1 km away.

“I don’t want to walk,” I heard Jungkook say. Sweat was dripping down Jimin’s face. His face was pale like he was about to pass out. What was that? I felt weird. “Park Jimin!” I asked but he didn’t react. I looked up at the sign again.

“It’s so hot. Why would we go to an arboretum? Let’s go to the ocean. ” I said flatly. I didn’t know what kind of place that arboretum was, but it felt like we must not go there. I didn’t know why but Jimin looked strange. “We have no money,” Hoseok answered me. “Then let’s walk,” Taehyung added in. “If we just walk to the train station, we’ll make it some way or another,” Namjoon spoke up. “Then we’ll have to skip dinner instead.” Jungkook and Taehyung whined and Seokjin-hyung laughed. After everyone began to head towards the train station, Jimin started moving again. He looked like a small kid walking with his head lowered, shoulders hunching. I looked up at the sign again. Arboretum. The letters were slowing getting further and further away.


All By the ocean They stand in front of the ocean together Prologue? from 22/04/11
25 19 Storage classroom

Examines classroom, sees 's plant, finds his dad's name with "Everything started from here" underneath

Someone had brought a flower pot and placed it on the window of the storage classroom. Who would most likely bring a flower pot among the other guys? I took out my phone. The classroom was dim and dark from the lack of electricity, green grass a stark contrast amid the weak rays of sunlight streaming through the dirty windows. The photo I took with my phone didn’t come out well. It wasn’t just because of the phone. I always think about this but photos cannot encapsulate entirely what the human eyes capture.

As I approached, a letter “H” showed itself under the pot. I picked it up. “Hoseok’s flower pot”, it said. I let out a giggle. If any of the boys was to bring a flower pot, it could only be Hoseok. I put down the pot so that the letters were entirely covered, even the “H”, and looked around. The window frames were covered in doodles, which I had never noticed until now. Not just the window frames but also the walls, the ceiling, there were doodles everywhere. “Pass or die”. Names of crushes. Dates, and countless of names that had now become illegible.

Perhaps this classroom wasn’t originally a storage. Students would go to school, take classes and leave the classroom empty in the afternoon. And it would stay empty throughout summer vacation until school starts and the students burst into the classroom noisily. Were there students like us, late for class and get punished and skip school? Were there endless tests and homeworks, teachers who ruthlessly inflict violence on students? And were there people like me? One who told on friends to the principal?

I wondered if my father’s name was among here too. This was also his old school. My father was someone who believes attending the same high school and college for generations was bringing dignity to the family’s tradition. As I scanned through the names, I discovered his. It was among few other names, in the middle of the left wall. Under it was written a sentence. 'Everything started here.'

0830 16 On the way home

Met soon after school started (March), always accompanies him home for a 2 hour walk, worries how long this will last

While Hoseokie-hyung was on the phone, I played around, kicking the ground coated with his shadow. He chuckled and made a face that said “Park Jimin has grown so much.” It took two hours to walk from school to home. Less than 30 minutes by bus and can even be shortened to 20 if I take the main road. But he always insisted on taking the path that has us go through a winding alley, passing a low hill and crossing the footbridge. After getting discharged from the hospital, I transferred to another school last year. The school was far from my house and there was no one I knew. I thought it was okay. I thought it wasn’t any big deal, after all, I had already changed school several times and who knows when I would be hospitalized again.

But then I got to know him. It was not long after the new semester started. He casually approached me and walked with me for two hours. Not until much later did I find out our houses weren’t in the same direction. I couldn’t ask him why. I hoped for the shadow that walks by my side, the two hours walking together under the sun, to last longer even just a day.

He was still on the phone, I kicked his shadow again and ran away. He ended the call and started chasing me. The ice cream melt under the sun and the sound of cicadas tingled in my ears. Suddenly, I was scared. How many of these days are left now?

20 03 20 17 Storage classroom (hidden)

Sees outside room, inside tells principal on phone that & skipped school, tells he understands must have had a reason, decides to keep quiet

I ran on the hallway and slid to a stop. Namjoonie-hyung was standing in front of ‘our classroom’. Our classroom. No one knew this but I called the place ‘our classroom’. The classroom of me, the hyungs and Jungkook, of the seven of us. I held my breath and came closer. I wanted to surprise him.

“Principal!” After five steps, I heard an urgent voice past the slightly opened classroom’s window. It sounded like Seokjin-hyung. I stop on my tracks. Is Seokjin-hyung talking to the principal? In our classroom? Why? I heard my and Yoongi-hyung’s names and Namjoon-hyung gasped like he was surprised. Seokjin-hyung jerked the door open, having seemingly sensed that sound. He was holding a phone in his hand. He looked evidently surprised and taken aback. I couldn’t see Namjoon-hyung’s face. I hid and watched them. Seokjin-hyung opened his mouth as if to explain himself but Namjoon-hyung raised a hand and said. “It’s okay.” Seokjin-hyung looked confused. “There must be a reason why you did that.” He said and passed by Seokjin-hyung to come into the classroom. I couldn’t believe in my ears. Seokjin-hyung told the principal what Yoongi-hyung and I did the past few days. He told everything, how we skipped school, jumped over the fences and fought with the kids. But Namjoon-hyung said it was okay.

“What are you doing here?” I turned around out of surprise. It was Hoseok-hyung and Jimin. Hoseok-hyung pretended he was even more surprised and draped an arm over my shoulder. Before I knew it, he was already dragging me into the classroom. Namjoon-hyung and Seokjin-hyung turned around as they were talking. Seokjin-hyung hurriedly stood up, said he had urgent business and left. I studied Namjoon-hyung’s face. He watched Seokjin-hyung leaving from the back and smiled at everyone like nothing happened. At that moment, this thought hit me. There must be a reason why Namjoon-hyung acted like that. He knew much more than me, was much smarter and more mature than me. And after all, this was our classroom. I entered the classroom, flashing a smile, the smile that everyone teased me calling it a rectangle smile. I decided I would never tell anyone that I overheard that conversation.

wants to admit to this on 22/05/22
05 15 18 Storage classroom

Has to move after today, doesn't know what to write to say goodbye, only leaves 'See you again' on window

I walked across the storage classroom, which had become a hideout for us who had nowhere to go, and set upright a few chairs. I picked up the desk that had fallen down and wiped the dust with my palm. The fact that it’s the last time always make people sentimental. This will be the last day I come to school. We have decided to move two weeks ago. Who knows, maybe I would never be able to return here. Maybe I would never be able to meet the hyungs and dongsaengs again.

I folded the paper in half, put it down on the desk and picked up the pencil, but I didn’t know what to say, only time passing by. As I was scribbling down some useless words, the pencil lead broke with a snap. 'I must survive.' That was what I put down without realizing it before fragments of black lead scattered all over. In between the black lead power and the scribble scattered messy stories, stories of poverty, parents, dongsaeng, my move.

I crumpled the piece of paper, put it in my pocket and stood up. A cloud of dust rose as I pushed the desk. I was about to turn around and leave, but went to breathe onto the window and left three words. No farewell would be enough, no words needed to be said to convey all and everything. 'See you again.' Rather than a promise, it was a wish.

06 07 17 His neighborhood

Looks for his puppy that ran off, mixed feelings of anger and self-blame, when the dog returns voluntarily he realizes he can be someone to rely on

"Dumb mongrel. Couldn't wait for just a second?" We had searched the whole neighborhood, but couldn't find Dubu. When I checked the time, twenty minutes had passed. How far could a two-month-old puppy have gone in twenty minutes? I was sweating in the hot summer sun. I had called for him until my throat was sore and dry. In the moment I had checked my phone, he had slipped his leash. When I looked around, Dubu was gone. I started to run again. I looked in every alleway and checked inside every open door. "Dubu!" I called in a loud voice. Only passersby looked back at me.

As I ran, I berated Dubu, calling him a stupid puppy. I even got angry and said it was because he was just a mongrel. But even in that moment, I knew that it wasn't Dubu's fault. It was mine. I had looked away. I hadn't been paying attention and he had gotten loose. I had been laughing at some unimportant conversation and hadn't even known Dubu was gone. Had Dubu run away on purpose? At the thought, I came to a stop despite myself. Maybe Dubu didn't like being with me. To me, living with him was a good thing, but to him maybe it was nothing more than being separated from his family.

The next moment, I heard a patter of feet and the sound of Dubu barking. At first I thought I was imagining it. But it was no hallucination or imagination, and I saw Dubu running down the alley. The puppy's ears were flying back and his mouth was open with the effort of running up the hill. "Dubu!" I shouted, and when I kneeled down, he ran straight toward me "Where did you go? How did you come back? Did you remember how I smell?" As he started to lick my cheek from within my embrace, a strange feeling welled up in me. Ah, I'm the only person Dubu can rely on. I can be reliable for someone, too. I can be someone he'll come back to. Dubu squirmed to get out of my arms, but I only held him closer.


Storage classroom listens to playing piano and feels like crying, teacher finds them because of , protects from 20/06/25 and from 20/07/17
25 15 Storage classroom

Tries to mimic 's piano playing, reflects on incident 2 weeks ago that led to 's expulsion, wonders if would still be here if not for him

I stroked the piano keys, smearing my hands with dust. I put some force into the tips of my fingers and the sound that came out was nothing like what Yoongi-hyung had played before. It’s been 10 days since he last went to school. I heard he was expelled today. Namjoonie-hyung and Hoseokie-hyung didn't tell me anything, and I couldn’t ask, as if I was scared of something.

That day two weeks ago when the teacher opened the door and entered our hideout place, there were only Yoongi-hyung and me here. It was parents visiting day. I didn’t want to be in the classroom so I blindly headed to the hideout. Yoongi-hyung didn’t even look back, he just kept playing the piano and I moved two desks together, lying on top and closed my eyes pretending to sleep. He and the piano seemed different but at the same time they were also one, so much that I couldn’t even think of separating them. Somehow listening to him playing the piano made me want to cry.

Feeling my tears about to fall, I rolled over, but then the door was slammed open and the piano sound cut off. I was slapped in the cheek, and ended up falling down. I curled up to endure the abuse, but then the voice suddenly stopped. Looking up, he was pushing the teacher’s shoulder and standing in front of me. Over his shoulder was the teacher’s stunned face.

I pressed the piano keys. I tried to mimic the song he used to play. Did he really quit school? Will he never come back? He said a few hits, a few kicks was just common to him. If I hadn’t been there, would he not stand up to the teacher? If I hadn’t been there, would he still be playing the piano here?

Originally is mentioned despite having moved, but this was corrected in the Notes 1 book
20 Bedroom

Minor character death (mentioned)Thinks about oppressive life with his father, throws piano key he picked up after the fire 4 years ago out of the window, thinks he'll never play again

All of a sudden, I opened the door, went to the desk and took out a bag from the bottom drawer. I flipped the bag and shook it, and a piano key fell out with a thud. I threw the half-burned key into the trash can and lay down on the bed. My seething heart did not cool down, my breathing a mess and fingers stained with soot.

There was one time I came back to the house, now a ruin because of the fire, after the funeral. I entered my mother's room and saw the piano burned to the point of unrecognizable. I sank down next to it. As the afternoon light pierced through the window and died down, I just sat there. A few keys were rolling around amid the last rays of light. I wondered what sound they would make when I pressed down. I wondered how much mother's fingers had touched them. I took one of them, put into my pocket and left the room.

4 years had passed since then. Our house was quiet. So quiet that I was going crazy. After 10 o'clock, my father would go to bed and everything must be done with bated breath afterwards. That was the rule of this house. It was hard for me to endure that silence. It was not easy to match the time and follow the rules, the formality either. But what I couldn't endure even more was that, despite of it, I still continue to live in this house. Taking the pocket money my father gives, eating with my father, listening to his scoldings. Even though I talked back to him, went astray and caused trouble, I didn't have to courage to leave him, leave this house and be alone, to really put that freedom into action and not just pure words.

All of a sudden, I sat up from the bed. I took out the key from the trash can under the desk. I opened the window, letting the air of the night harshly rush in. Everything happened today flooded in as it they were carried by the wind, slapping at my face. I threw the key into the air as hard as I could. It had been ten days since I last went to school. I heard they expelled me. Who knows, maybe now I would be kicked out of this house even if I don't want to. I listened carefully but still couldn't make out the sound of the key falling to the ground. No matter how much I wondered, I will never be able to know what note that key made. No matter how much time passes, that key would never make a sound again. I would never play the piano again.

07 17 20 School entrance

Start of break, evades + due to guilt over secretly sending principal to the classroom and accidentally causing 's expulsion

Outside the school entrance, the sound of crickets prickled in my ears. The school yard was crowded with kids laughing, joking around, racing with each other. It was the start of the summer holiday, everyone was excited. I lowered my head and walked through them. I just wanted to leave the school quickly.

“Hyung.” I lifted my head up out of surprise as someone’s silhouette popped out. It was Hoseok and Jimin. They were smiling brightly, looking at me with eyes beaming with mischief, just like usual. “It’s summer holiday today, are you just going to leave like that?” Hoseok pulled my arm and said. I just replied “Yeah, yeah”, uttered some more meaningless words and then turned away.

What happened that day was just an accident. It wasn’t on purpose. I didn’t think Jungkook and Yoongi would be in the storage classroom at that time. The principal suspected I was covering for them. He said he could tell my father that I wasn’t a well-behaved student. I had to say something. I told him about the hideout because I thought it would be empty at the time. But it ultimately led to Yoongi getting expelled. No one knew I was involved.

“Have a good vacation, hyung! I’ll contact you later.” Hoseok stealthily dropped his hold and saw me off even more cheerfully on purpose, as if he read something from my face. I gave him no response this time too. There was nothing I could say. Walking out of the school gate, I thought of the day I first went here. I was late and we were punished together. It was why we could laugh. Those moments were ruined by me.

Presumably after this secretly transfers schools (22/03/02)
09 15 19 Hospital

Wants to tell 's mom about his seizure, tries to follows when 's bed is moved away, cut off by JM's mom with a cold 'thank you' and left behind

Jimin’s mother walked across the emergency room. She checked the name on the headboard and the IV bottle, then took out the grass leaf on Jimin’s shoulder. I felt like I should tell her why Jimin was rushed to the emergency room, how he had a seizure at the bus stop, so I hesitantly approached her. Only then did Jimin’s mother spot me, she looked at me for a while as if to figure something out. I didn’t know what to do, so I hung back. Jimin’s mother only said thank you and turned away.

The next time Jimin’s mother turned to me again was when the doctor and the nurses started to move the bed and I followed them. Jimin’s mother said thank you again and pushed my shoulder. More correctly, she slightly put her hand on my shoulder and took it off. But suddenly, an invisible line was drawn between me and Jimin’s mother. It was a clear and solid line. Cold and firm. It was a line that I couldn’t cross through. I had lived at the orphanage for more than ten years. I could recognize these lines with my body, my eyes, with the air.

In an unguarded moment, I stepped back and fell to the floor. Jimin’s mother stared down at me with a blank look. She was a petite and beautiful woman, but her shadow was big and chilly. That shadow casted on me falling down to the floor of the emergency room. When I looked up, Jimin’s bed had already gone out of the emergency room, no longer seen. Since that day, Jimin didn’t go to school anymore.

Jimin's last day at school
28 17 Hospital

Has been hospitalised for 1 month, lies for the first time, tells doctor he can't remember anything (from the arboretum incident)

I stopped counting how many days I had been in the hospital. It’s something people do when they want to leave or when they have the hope of leaving. Looking at the trees and the grass outside the windows, people’s outfits, seems like it hadn’t been that much time. One month at most. Sometimes I saw school uniforms as well, but now even that didn’t really stir up any special feeling. Everything only felt so dull and hazy, maybe because of the medicine. But today was a special day. A day that must be written down on the diary if I had one. But I didn’t keep any diary and I didn’t want to cause trouble while writing such thing. I lied for the first time today. I looked into the doctor's eyes and pretended to look glum. "I can't remember anything."

30 16 Storage classroom

Went to the classroom every day despite teacher hitting him, when he enters there's only and he realizes their times together are over

“Jeon Jungkook. You’re still coming there, aren’t you?” I didn’t answer, just standing there looking at the tips of my sneakers. They hit my head with the attendance sheet for not answering. Still, I made no move to talk. The classroom where I was together with the hyungs. Ever since the day I followed them and discovered that classroom, there was not a single day I didn’t come there. They probably didn’t know this too. Sometimes they didn’t show up there, busy meeting friends or working part-time. Sometimes I didn’t see Yoongi-hyung or Seokjin-hyung for days. But not for me. I went there every single day. There were days no one else would come. But it was okay. If that place still exists, the hyungs would come today, tomorrow, or the following day, so it was okay.

“You learned only bad things from hanging out with those kids.” One more hit. I glared up at him. Another hit. I thought of when Yoongi-hyung was hit. I clenched my teeth and endured. I didn’t want to lie that I didn’t come to the classroom.

I once again stood in front of that classroom. It felt like if I open the door, the hyungs would be there. They would be playing games and turn around to ask me why I was so late. Seokjin-hyung and Namjoon-hyung would read books, Taehyungie-hyung would play games, Yoongi-hyung would play the piano and Hoseok-hyung and Jimin-hyung would be dancing.

But when I opened the door, there was only Hoseok-hyung. He was packing our stuff left in the classroom. I just stood there holding the doorknob. He approached and draped an arm over my shoulder. Then he pulled me outside. “Let’s go now.” The classroom door closed behind me. And then I realized. Those days are gone and would never come back.

21 02 25 20 Dance studio

Dancing allows him to be his true self, acknowledges that he smiles to hide negative emotions, collapses randomly & takes medicine he doesn't need

I danced without taking my eyes off my reflection in the mirror. The me in there soared up without touching the ground, free from all the gazes and standards of the world. Nothing mattered to me but moving my body to the music, putting my whole heart into my body.

I first danced when I was about twelve. Maybe it was around the time of the talent show in a field trip. I followed my friends and stood on the stage. Among what happened that day, I could still remember the applause and the cheer. And the feeling of being myself for the first time. At that time, I was only thinking of moving my body to the music and having fun. It was ecstasy, and it was not until much later did I learn that that ecstasy didn’t come from the applause, it came from somewhere inside me.

The me outside the mirror is hung up by many things. I can’t lift my feet off the ground for more than a few seconds, I smile even when I hate it and smile when I’m sad too.. I take medicines I don’t need yet still collapse anywhere. So I try not to take my eyes off myself in the mirror when I dance. The moment I can truly become myself. The moment I can throw away all the weight and fly. The moment that makes me believe I can become happy. I keep my eyes on that moment.

05 02 16 Empty Yangjicheon riverbank

All of his friends left so there’s no one left who smiles at him, rides bike to river and finds comfort in being alone in the dark

I raced towards the Yangjicheon riverbank as the sunset deepened. Pressing heavily on the bike pedals as I headed toward a sky full of mixed pinks and purples made me feel as if I were escaping from the weight of my everyday life. Today, too, I had taken my bike out as soon as I heard my mom start to prepare dinner. I didn't want to see anyone. My house was a place where not even one person would smile at me. Just because we lived together didn't make us family. Nothing changed just by leaving. My hyungs had left one after another, and even though we lived in the same city, it had been a long time since we'd contacted one another. Now there was no one left inside my house or out of it who would smile at me.

When the sun was gone but the moon hadn't risen yet, darkness settled down on the riverbank. The scenery changed depending on where I rode the bike. Past the road that had been turned into a park, there was a place full of garbage, abandoned cars and abandoned motorbikes and tires. I leaned my bike against a pillar under the bridge and made my way down to the riverbank. On the other side of the river was a group of kids lighting fires and drinking and swinging sticks around, but on this side there was nobody. Nobody came to this kind of ruined place. Maybe that was the reason nobody came to me, either. I was most comfortable like this, in a place nobody would come to find me, alone in total darkness. I thought that it would be nice if this moment never ended.


08 09 21 Beach in LA

Photographs the ocean because it stays the same, didn’t take photos from high school with him because of fear he would miss that time

I took photos as I walked down along the beach. The look of the beachfront neighborhood was constantly changing, but the ocean itself looked the same no matter what. I got out of the car and walked down to the shore. I sat on the sand and looked at the pictures I'd taken. The locations and times were different, but the pictures themselves were the same. The sky and ocean touched in the center of the photo.

It had been a year since I fled Songju and came to LA. My mother's family's house, where I had spent my childhood, was neither strange nor familiar. Hiding my emotions and smiling, a little awkwardly, after a place for me was found. The way to become a good person that I had learned from my father—in most cases these things were useful, and this was no different.

After coming here, I didn't take photos of people. There was no particular reason. I just didn't want to. Instead, I took pictures of the ocean. Maybe I wanted to take photos of something that didn't change. Its funny, looking back. It wasn't that my friends had changed, and it wasn't that I had changed. I had always been that kind of person, and now I had just gotten caught. I didn't bring a single photo from high school with me. The me from back then was tad different than the me of now. I didn't hide my feelings, and I had no reason to find a place for myself. The awkward smile looked the same, but it was different too. Back then, I was smiling for real.

I lifted my camera and took a photo of the ocean. It was cloudy, and the ocean and sky were the same color. The horizon was blurry. Of all the many photos I'd taken of the ocean, there was no photo that was the same. The weather was different, or the light, or the wind. My gaze was different, or my heart was different. This was also true of the photo I took today, and of the many photos I took during high school. A photo contains the gaze and heart of the person taking it. Maybe that was the reason I hadn't brought any photos from that time. I was afraid to look directly at the me of back then. I was afraid I would miss the person I was. How were they doing, what did they think of me? I was afraid I would wonder things like that, so I had put their photos in a box and closed the lid.


12 17 20 Bus

Runs away from family and poverty back to Songju despite having left without a farewell, writes 'I must survive' on window

People waiting for the first bus rubbed their hands together at the cold wind. I clutched the straps of my bag tightly and looked down to the ground. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone. A country village only two buses stops at a day. The first was approaching from afar.

I followed after people and got on the bus. I didn’t look back. When we’re desperate for something, when we has grabbed hold of it and now the only thing left to do is escaping, there’s one condition. To not look back. The moment we look back, all our efforts will go up in smoke. Looking back is doubting, is lingering attachment and fear. Only after we’re over it can we truly escape.

The bus departed. I had no plan. I wasn’t desperate for anything, not did I grab hold of it and was escaping. It was more like an impromptu getaway. A getaway from my mother’s tired face, my sibling who’s feeling lost, my father’s illness. A getaway from my household situation that’s getting more stressful over time, from my family who insist on sacrifice and peace, from myself who pretended like I knew nothing and resigned, striving to adapt myself, and most of all, from poverty.

If you ask if poverty is a crime, anyone would say it’s not. But is it really not? Poverty eats away so many things. It makes what you used to treasure become meaningless. It makes you give up what shouldn't be given up. It makes you doubt, fear and despair.

Just few hours later, this bus will stop at a familiar stop. One year ago, I didn’t leave any goodbye when I left this place. And now I’m coming back there without any notice. My friends’ faces came up in my mind. I cut contact with all of them. How have they been doing? Will they welcome me? Will we be able to gather and laugh like we used to? Outside, the landscape was rendered invisible by the frosty windows. I slowly moved my finger over it.

'I must survive.'

22 02 01 Plane

Suddenly moving back to Songju from LA without knowing why, doesn't feel like either of them are his home

The announcement that we would soon land came on overhead. There was nothing visible but fluffy clouds outside the windows. I looked back on my time in LA. It was nice, having a beach. Besides that, there was nothing particularly memorable. The plane made a large turn and the city became visible.

Returning to Songju had happened suddenly. My father had called and told me, "Come back." Of course there was a reason. My father wasn't the type of person who did anything without a reason. But he hadn't told me what that reason was. I didn't ask, either, since I knew I would realize once I arrived. But then again—maybe coming back to Songju hadn't been so sudden after all. Maybe everything had already been decided, and it was just that I didn't know anything.

I heard the kid in the row ahead of me ask, "Is that our house?" I looked out the window.

"No, our house is across the river," said someone who seemed to be the kid's father.

Home. I repeated that word inside myself. I didn't feel like I was going home. But it wasn't like LA was my home either. LA and Songju. They were both my addresses, but neither place was my home.


25 21 New home

Moves into small rooftop room after leaving the orphanage, cherishes it despite the shabbiness because it’s his first very own place

My entire world changed again after my nineteenth birthday passed. I was no longer a ward of the state and I couldn't stay at the orphanage. I looked for my own place with the money I'd saved from working part-time jobs and from the stipend I got when I left the system. I couldn't bring myself to look near Two Star Burger. I tried going around near Songju station, but there wasn't much difference. In the end, all I could do was walk up the slope. It was a rooftop room at the very end of a dead-end street.

I dragged my thunking suitcase up the iron stairs. I had spent more than ten years at the orphanage, but I didn't have that much stuff. All I had to do was organize a few articles of clothing and pairs of shoes and arrange the furni-ture I'd bought at the recycling center.

But moving is still moving, so by the time I could stretch out, it was already night. Even in February, there was sweat on my back. When I opened the screeching iron door, a cold late-winter wind blew in. I went out and leaned on the banister. Looked down at Songju. I tried to guess where the orphanage was. I followed the river along to the left, then to the left of the clover-shaped sign. Among all the neon and lights, I couldn't make the orphanage out.

I lifted my head and looked up at the rooftop room. It was small, barely one room. It was shabby and poorly kept up, hot as a sauna in summer and made cold by drafts in winter. But it was the only place in the world that was mine. A place where I could be myself. A place where I could be foolishly afraid, or have hope that others would sneer at. Somewhere I could laugh all I wanted and cry all I wanted.

"Let's do well!" I shouted toward the room. This place at the top of the city, nearly touching the sky, would be my home from today onward.


03 02 21 Two Star Burger

Likes his job because smiling helps making him genuinely happy, thinks about friends but they all parted ways

I liked being among people. After leaving the orphanage to live on my own, I started working part-time at a fast food restaurant, a job that required facing many people, smiling and being cheerful all the time. I liked it. Truthfully, there wasn’t much to smile at and be cheerful about in my life. It was evident I met more bad people than good ones. Perhaps that was why I liked that job even more. Beaming at them and responding with a loud voice, even if forcefully, I felt like I really felt that way. My mood’s lifted up as I laughed aloud and I became a kind person as I treated people with kindness. There were days so tough that by the time I finished cleaning the restaurant and headed back home, even taking a step felt gruelling already. Still, it was a little easier to make it through with my friends around than now.

Sometimes, I looked at the customers filling the restaurant and thought about my friends. Seokjin-hyung, who transferred school and left without a word; Namjoon, who just disappeared one morning; Yoongi-hyung, who went out of contact after getting expelled; Taehyung, who no one knew where and what kind of trouble he would get into; and Jimin, who I last saw at the ER and never came back to school again. I saw Jungkook coming home from school in his uniform several times through the windows not long ago, but somehow he didn’t stop by the restaurant. I wondered if those times had gone now.

At the sound of a customer coming in, I chirped a loud welcome. And I flashed a big, healthy smile, looking back at the door.

29 19 Gas station

Abuse (mentioned)Sprays on wall and gets hit, thinks chaotic ugly colors he sprayed just represent himself, comes and helps him up

The gas station owner spit at the ground and left. I lay there, curled up on the ground. I was graffitiing on the wall behind the gas station when the owner caught me. He beat me after asking what the hell I was doing at someone else’s wall. I rolled over on the ground. Getting beaten was something far too familiar to me but at the same time, something I could never get used to.

It was not long ago when I started graffitiing. I tried spraying on the wall with a spray can someone left behind. It was yellow, I think. I just sprayed mindlessly and looked up, at the vivid yellow paint on the gray wall, then picked up another spray. For a while, I just sprayed, clueless of whatever was going on my mind. I only stopped after all the spray cans had run out. I threw the cans away and stepped back, out of breath as if I just sprinted with all my might.

I had no idea what the colors on the wall represented, clueless of what I was doing or why I was doing it. But one thing I could figure out was that it was my feelings. I had sprayed my feelings out onto the wall. At first I thought it was hideous, dirty, even. Foolish, useless, pathetic. I didn’t like it at all. I rubbed the wet paint with my palms, wanting to erase everything away. The paint didn’t go away, instead smudged into another color and mangled into a different shape. I flopped back down against the wall. It wasn’t a matter of whether I liked it or not, nor whether it was pretty or not. It’s just, it was me.

I pushed myself up as a cough came out. Blood splattered on my palm, probably from the new cut inside my mouth. And then, I saw someone’s hand picking up the spray can. My gaze followed the hand until it met a face. It was Namjoon-hyung. I chuckled. So I was seeing things. He gave me his hand. I just looked up at him. He pulled my and and helped me up. His hand was warm.

+ reunite
04 07 22Construction site → music shop

Hears piano sound, runs to music shop and feels like it's a déjà vu, finds who he last saw 2 years ago, approaches him despite fear of closeness

I stopped walking at the clumsy piano sound. At the empty construction site in the middle of the night, there was only the crackling sound from a fire someone had lit in the drum can. I could tell it was the song I used to play, but I didn’t really have any thought. My drunken footsteps wobbled. I closed my eyes and walked even more mindlessly. Heat from the fire became stronger and the piano sound, the air of the night, even my intoxication fade away.

At the sudden horn, I opened my eyes, narrowly escaping a passing car. Amid the glare of the headlight, the wind from cars passing by and the chaos of my intoxication, I staggered helplessly. A driver was spitting out curses. I stopped, about to curse back when I realized, I could no longer hear the piano sound. Amid the sound of the blazing fire, the sound of the wind, the noise left behind by cars, there was no way the piano sound could be heard. Seems like it stopped. Why did it stop? Was someone playing the piano?

With a snap, sparks of the fire in the drum can surged towards the darkness. I stared vacantly at it for a while. My face flushed from the heat. That was when I heard the sound of someone slamming down the piano keys with their fist. Instinctively, I turned around. In a second, my blood was running wild, breath growing ragged. My childhood nightmare. It was like the sound I heard in that nightmare.

The next moment, I was running. My body turned around on its own, running towards the music shop. Somehow it felt like this had repeatedly happened countless of times. Like I was forgetting something really urgent.

The music shop with broken windows. Someone was sitting in front of the piano. It had been years but I still could recognize him at once. He was crying. I clenched my fists. I didn’t want to get involved with someone else’s life. Didn’t want to comfort someone else’s loneliness. Didn’t want to become a meaningful person to someone else. I didn’t have the confidence that I would be able to protect that person. Didn’t have the confidence to be with them till the end. I didn’t want to hurt them. I didn’t want to get hurt.

I slowly moved my steps. I was about to turn around and leave, but unknowingly, I came closer. And pointed out the wrong note. Jungkook lifted his head and looked up at me. “Hyung.” It was the first time we met after I dropped out of school.

(First Love) + reunite
22Room/Bed (?)

Wakes up again on this day (after time travelling), thinks about jumping off the tower by the ocean on May 22nd

When I opened my eyes, it was the 11th of April again. Sunlight was streaming in through the open curtains. I pushed myself up as my eyes closed from the dizziness. My surroundings transformed into crimson afterimages and I thought of Taehyung, standing alone on the observation deck by the ocean. It was the 22nd of May. It was the past and the future, an occurrence that had happened and could happen in the future. It was the moment I thought everything was resolved.

I caught the sight of Taehyung climbing up the observation deck when the sun was starting to set. The sky was still blue but a dark red hue had begun to spread. I turned around and saw Taehyung climbing up the observation deck. Taehyung reached the top and lowered his gaze at us for a moment. And then he jumped. He leaped down like he was a bird, like he was carrying wings. For a moment, I thought he stopped in mid-air, until it felt like the mirror broke, curtains drawn open and the cold wind surged in.

When I opened my eyes, it was today, the 11th of April.

's time travel starting point
22Sea → Gas station

Takes picture and remembers all of them sitting here together 2 years 10 months ago, then drives towards 's gas station

I came to the ocean alone. Inside the viewfinder, the ocean was wide open and blue as ever. Even the sunlight dispersing on the water, the wind blowing through the pine forest, they were still the same. The only thing changed was that I was alone. One press of the shutter button and the scenery in front of my eyes flashed, for a moment, that day 2 years and 10 months ago appeared and quickly vanished again. That day we were sitting together in front of this day. Tired, empty-handed, hopeless, but we were together.

I turned my car around and stepped on the accelerator. I drove through the tunnel, passing the rest stop. Somewhere near the school where we used to go to, I opened the car window. It was a night in spring. The air was warm and cherry blossoms were fluttering about on the trees ranging along the school walls. I left the school, crossed through the crossroad and made a few turns. Not far away, I could see the lights from the gas station where Namjoon works at.

Flashback to 19/06/12
22Car to gas station

Thinks of friends and wants to save them even at very slim chance of success, enters 's gas station

The car screeched to a narrow halt. I was too deep in thoughts to notice the traffic lights changed. Students wearing familiar uniforms crossed the road and stared at me through the windshield. Some people were even pointing at me. I tried to laugh and bow.

In no time, I reached the gas station intersection and saw Namjoon pumping fuel some distance away. I knew what I had to do. But it wasn’t like I was not scared. Will I be able to end all of these miseries and pain? Do these repeated failures mean I can never succeed? Does it mean I should give up? Is happiness only false hope for us? Thousands of thoughts flashed through my head.

I took a deep breath in and exhaled. Yoongi, Hoseok, Jimin, Taehyung, Jungkook, I recalled their faces one by one. I changed lanes and drove into the gas station. I couldn’t give up. Even if there is only 1% chance of success, I will never give up. Past the windshield, I saw Namjoon walking towards me.

BST jpn
22 Car to gas station

Death mentionStars another loop, needs to prevent accident on Sept. 30 and feels like all the loops taught him that most importantly he himself needs to survive and escape

I opened my eyes again to blazing sunlight. The image of the fire inside the container and Namjoon's dead body remained inside my eyelids. Another failure. I raised my arm to cover my eyes as I thought. What ways to save Namjoon could be left? Slowly, I thought back to the events of September 30. I felt no particular emotion and was neither impatient nor afraid.

After the accident in the container town I had made countless loops. But I still hadn't been able to understand why I made those loops, or what I had to do in order to fix things. No—even more than that, I hadn't yet been able to figure out what exactly the map of the soul was. The clue that was supposed to end all of this. The map of the soul. The first time I heard those words had been after I had already repeated several failures. "Find the map of the soul. It will be able to end all of this."

"The map of the soul? What on earth is that?" I pressed, but there was no response.

Instead, these words remained: "Hints come at a cost."

I spotted Namjoon's gas station some distance away. I turned on my blinker and changed lanes. I could only think of one thing: stopping the accident on September 30 and ending the loop. I was only moving toward that goal. Even if there was a problem with that process, or if someone was hurt or alienated, I couldn't do anything about it. If I let myself linger on or be overwhelmed by those things, I would never achieve my goal. Even more important than saving everyone was that I myself was able to survive and escape. That was the lesson that the endlessly repeating loop had taught me.


So far we only know about fires on on Aug. 25 (22/08/25) or Aug. 30 (22/08/30 and 22/04/11), not Sept. 30
20Gas station

picks up bill for him but he can't face him because of shame about his poverty

I finished with the refuelling and turned around. Something brushed past my face and fell down to the ground. Unconsciously, I stepped back and looked down to find a crumpled note at my feet. I instinctively bent down and reached out a hand. A spill of rowdy laughter came from people in the car. I momentarily paused. Seokjin-hyung must be watching from distance away. I couldn’t look up. What should you do when you meet eyes with people who ride in expensive cars and go around looking down and make fun of others? You stand up. You stand up if their actions are wrongful. It’s not a matter of courage, self-esteem or equality. It’s a matter of fact.

But this was a gas station and I was a part-time attendant. If a customer throws trash, I have to clean it up; if a customer throws curses, I have to hear it; if a customer throws money, I have to pick it up. My body trembled from the humiliation. I clenched my fists tight, nails digging into my palms.

That moment, someone’s hand picked up the note and handed it to me. The people in the car muttered and left the gas station, having seemingly lost interest. Even after they had left, I still couldn’t look up. I didn’t have the guts to look into Seokjin-hyung’s eyes. It wasn’t like he didn’t know about my cowardice, my poverty, my circumstance, but I didn’t want to show him this openly. He stood at the end of my sight unmoving. He didn’t approach, didn’t talk to me either.

19 Doing graffiti somewhere

Spray paints just like he appeared in his dream, disturbed by dream-’s lack of emotion while he watched terrible things happen

I drew a line of black spray paint. A thin face, a mouth that had lost its words, dry hair. In crude lines, I started to draw the face I had seen in my dreams on the gray wall. Now it was time to draw the pupils. I reached out, then stopped and took a step back.

In my head, the face was clear. The pupils were so definite they gave me goose-bumps just didn't know how to express them. They were eyes from which all the emotions like happiness or sadness had disappeared, leaving behind only disinterest and coldness. They were many colors and one color crushed together, eyes that said nothing and in doing so, said everything. I gripped the spray can several times, but in the end I couldn't draw the pupils.

It had been two years since I last saw Seokjin-hyung. I heard he had gone to the US, but besides that I didn't know anything. This was the first time I'd dreamed about him. I had sometimes wondered how he was doing. I had thought about what happened in the classroom, when hyung had called the principal. I had good memories of him, and things I didn't understand. But he had never once been as cold and gaunt as he had appeared in my dream.

I looked up again at the face I'd drawn on the wall. It was clearly Seokjin-hyung. But it wasn't the hyung I knew. Why had I had a dream like that, all of a sudden? The dream had been anxious and terrible scenes over and over. Hyung had watched all those misfortunes happen with an expressionless face. My hand shook as it held the spray can. I felt like the chill from the dream was grabbing me by the neck again. From a distance, I heard a police siren.


17Construction site

Violence, suicidal ideationWillingly gets beaten up, climbs roof and remembers family that doesn't care about him, thinks no one would be sad if he disappeared

At last, my wish was granted. I purposely bumped into the thugs on the street and was beaten as much as I wanted to be. I kept smiling as I was beaten, and so they beat me up more, calling me crazy. I leaned against the shutter door and looked up at the sky. It was already night. There was nothing in the pitch black sky. A single clump of grass stood not far away. It was lying flat from the wind. It was just like me. I forced myself to laugh to stop the tears from falling.

Under my closed eyes, I saw my stepfather clearing his throat. My half-brother was chuckling. My stepfather’s relatives were either looking somewhere else or talking about useless stuff. They acted like I wasn’t there, like my existence was nothing. In front of them, my mother was flustered. She pushed herself from the floor, making a cloud of dust rise in the process and coughed. It hurt, like someone was cutting into the pit of my stomach with a knife. I climbed up to the rooftop of the construction site. The city at night was stretching with frightful colors. I climbed on top of the banister, spreading my arms out and walked. For a moment, my legs wobbled and I almost lost balance. Just one more step and I would die, I thought. But if I die, everything would be over. No one would be sad if I disappear.

I Need U
17Rooftop (construction site)

Suicidal ideationThinks about jumping off the building until suddenly calls him

I walked on the railing on the rooftop of a building that had been left in its construction-halted state. I stuck out my foot as the darkness crept up from my toes. Beneath the railing, the night city spread out in a chaotic mess. Neon signs, car horns, acrid clouds of dust swirling in the dark. For a second, I swayed from the dizziness. I spread my arms wide to regain balance. And I thought. Just one stop. One step and all of this would be over. I leaned towards the dark a little. The darkness that began from the tip of my feet soon spread like it was going to devour my entire body. I closed my eyes and the chaotic city, the noise, the fear, all went away. I held my breath and slowly, I leaned over. No thought crossed my head. Nobody came to my mind. There was nothing I wanted to leave behind, nothing I would remember. This was just the way it ended.

It was then, the moment my phone rang. I came to myself like I just woke up from a distant dream. All the numbed senses returned in an instant. I took out my phone. It was Yoongi-hyung.

22's trailer

Takes to trailer, & & already there, thinks about how they're still the same, feels comfortable despite new surroundings

I walked, noticing Jungkook who was following from a distance behind. Containers popped up one after another along the stretch of railway. “It’s the fourth to last container.” Hoseok added. “I planned to meet up with Namjoon and Taehyung, you should come too.” I said okay, but truthfully I had no intention of going. I loathed getting entangled with people and Hoseok knew that too. He probably wouldn’t have thought I would show up for real.

I flung open the door to Hoseok’s surprised face. He spotted Jungkook and came closer with his signature exaggerated face of mixed emotions. I walked past them, heading inside the container. “It’s been awhile.” I heard an embarrassed Jungkook scuffling with Hoseok who was trying to hug him.

Soon, Namjoon entered, taking Taehyung along. Taehyung’s T-shirt was ripped on one side. Asked what happened, Namjoon pretended to smack Taehyung and said, “Dude’s doing graffiti and got caught by the cops. Had to get him out so I was late”. Taehyung pretended to be sorry exaggeratedly and went on and one about how his shirt got ripped from running away from the cops.

I sat in the corner and watched them. Namjoon was giving Taehyung another shirt to change into. Hoseok was taking out some hamburgers and drinks. Somewhere between them, Jungkook stood awkwardly, not knowing what to say.

Looking back, it was also the same back in high school. Somewhere inside our hideout classroom, Namjoon would try to reason with Taehyung only to get teased back, Hoseok would bustle in and out while Jungkook, unsure of where his place was, paced around.

How long had it been since we gathered like this? I couldn’t remember. How had it been for Seokjin-hyung and Jimin? These thoughts were not like me at all. I had never been to this place before but strangely, I felt at peace.

20 's trailer

Abuse/Injury (mentioned) puts on same shirt as and laughs, is shocked by bruises on his back

I was groping around some T-shirts when Taehyung reached out from behind and grabbed one. It was a T-shirt with the same printed quote as the one I was wearing. Taehyung laughed sheepishly, taking off his torn shirt. Under the dim light hanging on the trailer box, for a second, I saw his bruised back. Hoseok looked at me in shock. Taehyung looked at himself in the mirror wearing my T-shirt. And he laughed.

“Dude’s doing some graffiti or something, got caught by the cops while running around. Had to get him out so I was late.” I pretended to smack Taehyung and Taehyung in turn made an exaggerated expression of fake apology. Yoongi-hyung, who was sitting at the corner of the trailer, slowly approached and tapped Taehyung’s shoulder.



22 22 (Thinking about?) His dad's study

Used to be scared of a painting in his dad’s study, now instead intimidated by the study’s back room

If you enter my father's study, there's an interesting painting. A precarious wooden raft atop the surging waves of the open ocean. People abandoned there, with neither food nor drink, neither compass nor hope. People who, out of thirst and hunger, fear and loathing, horror and greed, suck each other's blood and kill each other and, in the process, kill themselves too.

When I was young, I was so afraid of this painting that I didn't go into the study. I even wondered why my father would have hung such an awful painting on the wall. But as time passed, the painting gradually became just a part of the study, not the subject of fear or concern.

Instead, I developed a different fear. That was the fear of the room on the other side of the door inside the study. Neither the door nor room was anything special. It wasn't locked with a padlock or code, and what lay behind was only an extension of the study. If there were anything special about it, it was only that it had a lot of books—the bookshelves were packed with papers and books from my father's high school days and onward. I called that room the 'interior room'.

The interior room was a place where my father could go alone to gather his thoughts or come up with new ideas, and other than him, nobody else went inside. I had gone inside the room only once, and even though I was young, I had known. That it wasn't simply a study full of books. At a glance, the books placed in no particular order and the carelessly stacked boxes and documents only seemed to be human. I felt no warmth from the paper, and there was no emotion even in the paintings or photographs. Even just standing in the center of the room and looking up at the bookshelves, I felt a sense of intimidation that made my whole body feel as if it were crumbling.

I don't remembering there being any commotion over me having entered (although there may have been one), but from some point onward I stopped going into the room. Once or twice, I went as far as to stand in front of the door. But I only looked up at it for a second, and didn't even think of turning the knob.


Game trailer
28 20 With

Death mention (in dreams)Knows 's struggles, doubts himself, has nightmares of 's death/'s accident like they're real, asks not to leave

I had noticed something was going on with Taehyung a long time ago. He acted like nothing happened on the outside but his momentary actions, his face, the way he talked was painted with the anxiety of not knowing what to do. He was in and out of police station, wounds visible on his body. And he had nightmares.

I didn’t ask what happened or urge him to talk about it to me, because I was waiting for Taehyung to tell me himself and on the other hand, I doubted I had any right to hear such distress. I pretended to be the older one, to be an adult, but in truth I couldn’t be by their side during their hard times. Everyone praised highly of how mature I was yet I wasn’t a real adult. I only hesitated, unable to look at the reality in front of my eyes.

“Yoongi-hyung was dead.” Taehyung had another nightmare today. I shook him by the shoulders and he jolted awake, then sat there vacantly for a while. He didn’t even think of wiping the tears in his eyes and just muttered incoherently. He said that Yoongi was dead, Jungkook had an accident and he got into a fight, that he kept having such dream and it was so vivid he felt like that dream was real and we were now inside a dream. “Hyung, don’t go anywhere.” His voice trembled with uneasiness.

dreams about different timelines
30 19 Watching outside motel

Sees again for the first time, scared because he looks just as cold as in his dream, drops something in front of the motel (for )

The shock made me momentarily unable to move. Seokjin-hyung was sitting inside the car. I'd heard from Namjoon-hyung that he was back, but this was the first time I'd seen his face. Hyung was frowning as he searched for something with his cell phone. That in itself didn't seem strange. No part of his face seemed different than before. I couldn't explain the reason why I was so shocked. Cold. Dry. Empty. None of those words were enough to express hyung's face. No, it wasn't even close to the same. It was a spring day, but a chill passed by me. Despite myself, I shivered. Hyung had appeared in my dream with exactly that face.

I only lifted my head when Jungkook came around the corner. Jungkook looked around with an urgent expression, then ran across the alley. At that moment, Seokjin-hyung gave an irritated gesture and got out of the car. I couldn't hear from a distance, but it seemed from the shape of his lips that he was muttering, "Whatever, forget it." As he took a few steps toward the motel a short distance away, he looked in the direction that Jungkook had run, dropping something at the entrance as he did.


05 02 22


Suicide attemptSets bed on fire, doesn't know what he's running from, hears and sees as he collapses in the flames

The sheet caught on fire and blazed up instantly. Amid the unbearable heat, everything that was once humble lost their presence. I could no longer feel the sour, moldy smell, the unidentifiable dampness and the dank light. Instead, what remained was the pain. The physical pain that was the heat. The tips of my fingers and my skin felt like they would be blistered and melt down from the overwhelming heat. For the first time, my father’s expressionless face and the sound of the music dissipated.

My father and I were different in many ways. He couldn’t understand me, I couldn’t understand him. Would I be able to persuade him if I had tried? Perhaps no. The only thing I could do was to hide, rebel, to run away. Sometimes the thought that it wasn’t my father that I was getting away from crossed my mind. And then came the precipitous fear. What am I running away from? How can I escape from myself? Everything felt impossible.

I faintly registered the sound of someone calling my name, but I didn’t look up. I couldn’t breathe, whether from the heat or the pain I didn’t know. There was no strength to move left in me but still, I could make it out. It was Jungkook. He must be so mad at me. Probably would grieve for me too. I just wanted to sit down. I wanted to end all the smoke and heat, pain and fear here. Jungkook was shouting something again but I still couldn’t place it. My vision faltered and I lifted my eyes up for the last time. There they were, the last things I saw on this world. The dirty, isolated room, the glowing hot flame, flickering heat, and Jungkook’s face.

(I Need U)
22 Hospital

Discussion of injuriesDealing with the aftermath of the fire, puzzled by doctor's and own different interpretations of the blood from his injuries (sign of regeneration VS fire)

They told me that the scar would last for a while. They said that I would slowly recover with time. But that the scope was limited. I would only improve if I kept receiving treatment. On the third day after my hospitalization, the doctor took off the gauze and revealed the marks left behind by the fire. The flesh of my left arm, so dark the red was almost black. It was my body. But it didn't seem like my body. It was unfamiliar when I had dropped the lighter. I had been ready for something even more than this. But it felt contradictory. For me to have only a scar like this.

"This will hurt a little." When he started to change the dressing, blood seeped from my wound. The blood soaking the white gauze seemed just like a flame. Like the scarlet flames that day. Roaring like they meant to swallow me. I tried to hold it back. But the groan escaped. The doctor said that the blood was a good sign. That it was proof of new skin growing underneath the dead skin. Even though it hurt, I couldn't help but laugh. Why are new things only possible after death? What would it have been like if I had died then? Could that have been the only way to start things over anew?

I looked down at my arm. Blood oozed through the new gauze. I called that blood stain a fire, and the doctor called it regeneration. Whose words were right?


17's trailer

Suicide attempt (mentioned)Remembers running into flames to save and only shouting that they wanted to go to the ocean together, comes and gives him medicine

I looked up only to see myself standing in front of Namjoon-hyung’s container. I opened the door and entered. I gathered the scattering clothes, draped them around myself and curled up. It was chilly. My whole body was shaking and I felt like crying, but no tears came out.

When I opened the door and came in, Yoongi-hyung was standing on the bed. Flames were bursting from the bed sheet. That moment, an uncontrollable rage and sense of fear coiled around me. I wasn’t good with words. I wasn’t good with expressing my emotions, or to persuade someone. Tears welled up and I coughed and the words just kept getting stuck in my throat unable to come out. The only thing I could utter as I flung myself into the fire was “We all promised to go to the ocean together.”

“Why are you like this? Did you have a nightmare or something?” Due to someone shaking my shoulder, I opened my eyes. It was Namjoon. Strangely enough, a feeling of security fell upon me. He lay his hand on me and said I had a fever. It really felt like I did. The inside of mouth felt like it was boiling, but it was intensely cold otherwise. I had a splitting headache and my throat hurt. I could barely have the medicine hyung gave me. “Sleep more. Let’s talk later.” I nodded my head. And then I spoke. “Will I be able to become an adult like you?” Namjoon hyung turned to look at me.

Euphoria He saved , they all go to the ocean 20 days later (22/05/22)
10 21 Yangjicheon river bridge

Mention of (fatal) illness, faintingLearned that the auntie from orphanage is terminally ill, scared she'll leave him like his mom, can't bring himself to visit, collapses on the bridge

When I came to my senses, I was walking along the bridge. The sun was so bright that it was hard to open myeyes. I wondered how I had gotten here, but then I felt dizzy and my vision blurred. I wondered if my legs were collapsing under me, and the sounds of car horns coming and going assaulted my ears. At one side of my vision, I could see the black water of Yangjicheon.

The auntie at the orphanage was the first person who comforted me after I lost my mother. She had been at my side when I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever, in my empty bed after a friend was adopted, when I woke in the hospital after a narcolepsy seizure, from my elementary school entrance ceremony to my high school graduation.

She had gotten sick. The voice on the other end of the ordinary phone call had been that of a friend from the orphanage. I couldn't remember how I made it to the auntie's house. What I remembered was her house, and her face through the open window. She was talking with someone, and then she laughed. That she was sick, that she needed surgery, that there was no hope—all of it sounded like lies. When we almost made eye contact, I hid myself. I felt like I would burst into tears if I saw her face. I felt like I would spit out words of resentment like, "Even you're going to leave me?" I started walking. It seemed like someone called to me, but I didn't look back.

A large bus kicked up a wind as it passed me. "Mom," I muttered as I watched the bus drive away. On the day I lost her, we had ridden that kind of bus. Would the auntie leave my side too, just like my mom? Would I lose another person who was so precious to me? I lifted my head and sunlight poured down. Then the world started to collapse. The sibilant noise of tires on asphalt, the wind coming off the river, and all the memories I had with the auntie all crumbled under the sunlight. I collapsed to the ground.


(I Need U)

11 21 ?

Would I lose someone important to me again? I felt like tearing up. "Who is worried about who here? If you are really worried about me and feel sorry for me, please just stay alive."

Quote from

+ reunite
12 21Hospital

Mistakes woman for his mom, catches him as he trips, asks him to get out of the hospital with him

I opened the fire exit doors and ran down the stairs. My heart was pounding so fast it felt like it’s going to burst any moment. There was no doubt the fact that passed by me at the hospital corridor was my mom. The moment I turned around to look, the elevator door slid open and people stampeded out. Frantically, I pushed my way through the crowd and saw her walking into the fire exit in the distance. I ran down the stairs, taking two steps at a time from the restlessness. I went down several floors without resting.

“Mom!” She halted. I took another step forward. She turned around. I stepped down some more stairs. Her face started to come into my sight. It was that moment. My heel slipped on the stair edge and my body tilted forward. I squeezed my eye shut expecting a face plant. Someone grabbed my arm and I narrowly regained my balance. I looked back, Jimin was standing there with a shocked face. I didn’t get the chance to thank him and turned around again.

There was a woman. She looked surprised. Next to her was a young boy who was blinking his big eyes at me. She wasn’t my mother. I stared at the woman’s face and stood still on the stairs wordlessly.

I couldn’t recall what I said to get out of there. I didn’t ask Jimin how he showed up there too. My mind was too tangled to ponder over and care about the details. That woman was not my mother. Perhaps I had known the truth from the beginning. It had been more than ten years since the day I was left alone at the amusement park. She must have grown older and different from my memory of her. Even if we meet I wouldn’t be able to recognize her. No, I didn’t even remember her face now.

I looked back. Jimin was following me wordlessly. Jimin told me that after parting ways at the emergency room when we were high schoolers, he had spent his whole time at this hospital. I recalled his uncertain face when I asked if he wanted to leave. Perhaps Jimin was like me too, both prisoners of the memories that had been entrapping us, unable to send it away or capture it and just stay imprisoned. I took a step towards Jimin.

“Jimin. Let’s get out of here.”

22 ?

Everyone must have their reason for wanting to be dead. And for wanting to be alive. Why did Jungkook feel like dying? And what did he live for?

Quote from
15 19Hospital

wakes and tells him everyone is there to help them leave, they hear footsteps approaching outside the room

When I opened my eyes, Hoseok-hyung was standing there. Under the familiar ceiling, in the familiar darkness, he was looking down at me. Surprised, I pushed myself up but he put an index finger to my lips. It was quiet, like everyone else had gone to sleep. He immediately passed me a shirt and pointed his chin to outside the hospital room.

“We all came.” Namjoon-hyung was keeping watch and Yoongi-hyung was stalling by sticking to the nurse, he said. Jungkook and Taehyung would join later in the elevator. At first I couldn’t understand what he was saying. He reached out his hand to a bewildered me.

The day I leave the hospital. I used to dream about it. I wanted to leave the hospital and meet up with friends, laughing and chatting with each other like we used to before, but now, I’m not so sure anymore. Is leaving here a good thing? My parents who hid me here and treat me like I’m invisible. People who whisper that I have mental illness. Who knows, maybe Hoseok-hyung thinks so too. Maybe deep inside he could be thinking of me as a weird kid and find it uncomfortable to spend time with me.

“Quick. We don’t have time.” The clock’s ticking sounded strangely fast, perhaps because of his urge. Thump. Thump. Sound of footsteps rand like an auditory hallucination and slowly, it approached the room. He and I stared at the door at the same time and back at each other. His arm was still extended before me.

(Euphoria) All of them reunite
16 19's home

Chronic illnessRan away from the hospital but doesn't want to go home, invited him to his home, afraid to have a seizure again

Hoseok-hyung’s house was located on very high ground. A long walk up from the main road, through winding narrow alleys to the last house and its rooftop, was his house. We entered the house, a single room being its entire composition, as he boasted about how this was the top floor of the city and every place we grew up in was now under our feet. True to his words, I could see a lot from the rooftop. A train station not far away, containers lining up along the railway. One of them was where Namjoon-hyung was living in. A diverting of the eyes and there was the school where we went to together.

I looked for the school, then looked up at the other side of the city. Along the mountain foot lay a big apartment complex. That was my – no, my parents’ – house. I ran away from the hospital without a word. They must have contacted my parents and were already searching for me by now. I still hadn’t got the courage to face my parents. I left the hospital but I couldn’t come home. It didn’t mean I want to go back to the hospital. Yet, I had nowhere to go and no money to use. Seeing me standing hesitantly, he told me to follow him and led the way. And here we were, at his house.

I looked up at the apartment complex again. Someday I would have to go there, to meet my parents and let them know I would never go back to the hospital again. I took a deep breath. It felt like just the mere thought of it could trigger a seizure in me. Truthfully, even I couldn’t believe I would be able to endure it somewhere else other than the hospital. And intolerable fear struck me.


19 19Bus stop

sits next to him at bus stop, wants to go to aboretum & stop hiding in hospital/being afraid, asks to come along

In the end, I had to go to the arboretum. It’s time to stop lying I didn’t remember what happened there. Time to stop living in hiding at the hospital, to stop having seizures. In order to do so, I needed to go there. And so I went to this bus stop every day, but I couldn’t get on the shuttle bus to the arboretum.

Yoongi-hyung plopped down next to me after I had missed the third bus. I asked what he was doing here and he said he was simply bored and had nothing to do. He asked why I was sitting here. I lowered my head and kicked at the ground with the tips of my shoes. I thought about why I was sitting here. It was because I had no courage. I want to pretend that I was okay now, that I knew what I was talking about and I could easily overcome it but the truth is, I was scared. Scared of what I would face, whether or not I would be able to bear it and the chance of me having a seizure again.

Yoongi-hyung looked relaxed. He slumped down like had nothing to rush off for and said the weather’s nice along with some other nonsense stuff. Hearing him,I realized the weather was indeed nice. I was too nervous to look around me. The sky was blue and occasionally there would be a warm breeze blowing. Not far away, the shuttle bus to the arboretum was arriving. The bus stopped and the doors were opened. The driver looked at me. On a spur of the moment, I asked him.

“Hyung. Will you come with me?”

Has been lying since 20/09/28
20 21 Police → 's home

Accompanies back from the police station, wonders why they have to endure so much, just as he's leaving the phone rings

I took Taehyung out of the police station with me. “Thank you for your hard work.” I bowed and shouted loudly, but I didn’t feel so. Taehyung’s house was not far from the police station. If he had lived somewhere far away, would he not need to go in and out of the police station this often? Why did Taehyung’s parents choose a place this close to the police station? The world was so unfair to this kind, soft-hearted kid. I draped an arm around Taehyung’s shoulder, pretended like nothing happened and asked, “Are you hungry?” Taehyung shook his head. “Did the policemen buy you food?” I asked again but Taehyung gave no answer.

We walked in the sun. Cold winds were blowing inside my heart. If this is how I’m feeling, what about Taehyung? How torn and broken must he have felt? Was there even any piece of his heart left? How much pain there was inside him? I couldn’t look at him in the face with those thoughts in mind, so I looked up to the sky instead. An airplane was flying past the dim sunlight. The first time I saw the wounds on Taehyung’s back, it was when we met at Namjoon’s container hideout. Seeing Taehyung laugh so innocently over getting a T-shirt, no one could say anything, but inside a piece of our hearts was broken.

I didn’t have any parent. I had no memory of my dad and memories of my mom were only until I was 7 years old. When it came to wounds about family and childhood, I was never jealous with anyone. People say we must overcome wounds, we must embrace and grow used to them. We must reconcile and forgive in order to live. I couldn’t, not because I didn’t know nor I hated and refused to. Some things just can’t be accomplished through efforts. No one taught us the way. The world gave us new wounds before its knives grew blunt. I know there’s no one without wounds in this world. But why must the wounds be this deep? For what reason do we need them? Why must this happen?

“Hyung, I’m okay. I can go by myself.” Taehyung told me at the crossroad. “I know, kid.” I paid no attention to his words and led the way. “I’m really okay. Look. It’s nothing.” Taehyung smiled. I didn’t answer him. There was no way he was okay. He was far from okay, but if he admitted this fact he wouldn’t be able to bear it. He was avoiding it. It had become a habit. Taehyung pulled up the hood of his hoodie and started following me. “You’re really not hungry?” I asked Taehyung at the hallway to his house. Taehyung just smiled foolishly and nodded. I watched him walking away from the back and turned around. The hallway he walked on and the path I took on the way back were desolate. The kid and I, we were both alone. I was about to look back when suddenly, the phone rang.


19 's home

Violence, suicidal ideationStops himself from killing his father, father flees, and his sister stay in the room, feels hopeless and scared and really wants to see

I looked down to my hands. They were smudged with blood. Suddenly, I lost all strength in my legs. I was about to flop down when someone hugged me from behind. The sun was beaming its weak rays through the window. My sister was crying and Hoseok-hyung was silently standing there without a word. The dirty furniture and blankets were littered around, just like usual. No one was left where my father was standing. I couldn’t recall when he left the room.

The uncontrollable rage and sorrow that was boiling inside me the moment I charged at my father still remained the same. I couldn’t tell what held me back when I was about to stab my father. I couldn’t tell how to calm this insanity-bordering mind of mine. I didn’t want to kill my father, I wanted to die. If I could, I would gladly die now. No tears came out. I wanted to cry, to scream, to stomp on and destroy and break everything, to be broken, but I couldn’t do anything.

“Hyung. I’m sorry. I’m okay, so go.” My voice came out dry, a stark contrast to my mind that was bordering insanity. It didn’t sound like my voice. I sent hyung off, who didn’t seem like he was keen on leaving, and looked at my palm. Blood was seeping through the white bandage. Instead of stabbing my father, I hit the floor with the bottle. It shattered and gashed my palm. I closed my eyes and felt the world spinning around. What should I think? What should I do? How should I live? When my senses returned, I was looking down at Namjoon-hyung’s phone number. Even after things came to this—no, because things came to this, I was even more desperate for his presence. I wanted to tell him. Hyung. I almost killed my father, my father who gave birth to me, my father who beat me to a pulp every single day. I really almost killed him. No, the truth is I already did. I killed him thousands of times. I killed him so many times even I couldn’t count. I want to kill him. I want to die. What should I do now? I don’t know anymore. Hyung, I just want to see you.

22 17

(I Need U)

Platform by the ocean Version 1 (failed timeline): jumps from the platform
Version 2: and both climb up, have a quarrel, goes down and leaves
Version ?: climbs up and jumps/throws his camera
from 22/04/11
from 22/05/28
Version ? might happen in the same timeline as Version 2.
By the ocean Version 2: feels uneasy watching and , can't see what happens on the platform before climbs down due to sudden gust of wind from 22/05/28

20Pine forest near ocean

On the phone, says things shouldn't be his responsibility, sees and remembers him wanting to be an adult, doesn't think of himself as mature

“We’re just one year apart. No, someone said so. I’m older than him. I know. But he’s not a kid anymore. I’m just saying it’s time for him to do by himself. I got it. I said I got it. No, I’m not angry. Sorry.”

I ended the call and looked down to the ground. The warm ocean breeze was sweeping through the pine forest. I felt so suffocated inside, like my heart would explode any second. On the ground mixed with half sand and half ground, the ants were lining up to go somewhere. If someone who’s greater than me in any aspect, physically or symbolically, look, would they see where I am going, know why I am going and how I will end up?

It’s not like I don’t love my parents, nor am I not worried for my sibling. If I can I want to look away, but I’m just me, so clearly that won’t happen. If it happens, what would all these struggles, anger, frustration and this desire to escape mean?

Some distance away, I saw someone from the back, standing nailed to the spot just like I was. It was Jungkook. Jungkook once told me this. “I want to become an adult like you.” I could tell him then. Tell him that I’m not a good adult like he thought, that no, I’m not even an adult. I felt like it would be too cruel to tell him so. I couldn’t tell a young kid couldn’t get the faith, the care and love he deserved that growing older, growing taller and living longer doesn’t make you an adult. I hoped for Jungkook’s future to be kinder to him than mine did, but I couldn’t promise that I would be there to help him. I approached and draped an arm around his shoulder. Jungkook looked up at me.


19 Pine forest near ocean

Overhears on phone saying he doesn't want to take responsibility (for him?), gets very angry and then scared he'll turn out like his dad

I was walking through the pine forest when I saw him taking the call, lagging behind. It happened a lot lately. He would make the call somewhere far away so others wouldn’t be able to listen. I purposely slowed down my pace and hid myself towards the ocean. He didn’t see my and walked straight past. “He’s only a year younger than me. I don’t care. It’s not something I can take responsibility for anyway. Please take care of it yourself.”

Something cold ran down my spine. Like the whole world had just collapsed, like I was floating in the middle of the deep ocean alone. I was scared, terrified. I was miserable and pathetic. I was angry. Angry and couldn’t stand it. I wanted to do something bad, anything. I was always scared. Dad’s blood was flowing inside me. Who knows, maybe I inherited his violence gene. It felt like from inside the shield I had wrapped up so tightly, something was piercing through to come out.

19 Seaside dorm

Confronts about what he's hiding, gets angry at for dismissing him and says they're all alone anyway, punches him

“Hyung, that’s all? Isn’t there anything else you’re hiding from us?” Everyone immediately fell into silence, every gaze directed at me. I stared straight at Seokjin-hyung. He stared back at me, his eyes tinged with weariness, discomfort and something akin to pity. The moment I tried to press him again, someone grabbed my arm and stopped me. I didn’t look back but I knew. It was Namjoon-hyung.

“What does this have to do with you? You’re not even my real brother.” I could feel he was looking at me. I shook his hand off without turning around. I was well aware too, that I was getting mad at Namjoon-hyung for no reason. I was repeating what he said on the phone to someone else to let him know that I was angry with him right now, that I was really upset. There was nothing wrong in his words. I was only a year younger than him. I wasn’t his real brother. I needed to take care of my own problem. But still, I was upset, even angrier at the fact that there was nothing to refute. I had hoped he could understand how I felt.

“Taehyung, I’m sorry. Let’s stop here.” It was Seokjin-hyung who spoke up. Calling my name, apologizing, both were Seokjin-hyung. Namjoon-hyung didn’t say anything. “Stop what? Tell everything while we’re at it. Hyung, you’re hiding something from us.”

“Let’s go outside and talk.” Namjoon-hyung said, grabbing my arm again. I shook him off one more time but he applied more force and tried to pull me outside. I held on. “Let me go. What right do you have to stop me? What do you even know? You know nothing. You think you’re some great guy?” It was then. He let go of me and I staggered from the rebound. No it wasn’t from the rebound. The moment he let go of my arm, it felt like a link was severed, everything that held me up cracking, splitting, crumbling to pieces. Perhaps I had hoped he wouldn’t let go of me until the end, that he would get mad at me and drag me outside. Perhaps I had hoped, wished he would scold me more, like one would to their real brother, to someone so close and important that they just couldn’t afford to back down.

But he let go of me. I laughed out loud. “What’s so great about being together? What are we even to each other? We’re all alone in the end.” That moment, Seokjin-hyung hit me.

BST jpn wants to admit his disloyalty from 20/03/20 and the rest of his secrets

17 Street

Car accidentOverwhelmed by sudden pain, sees moon upside down because his head is tipped back, voice asks if he wants to live

I thought I was floating in the air but in no time, it turned into the hard ground. For a while, I couldn’t feel anything. My body only felt so heavy that I couldn’t even lift my eyelids. I couldn’t even gulp or breathe. My consciousness faded as my surroundings slowly grew faint.

And then, my whole body jolted in fits as if I was startled by something. In the midst of the pain and thirst which I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where, I unknowingly opened my eyes. Through my vision, strained like it was covered by sand, I saw something shimmering. I thought it was a fire, but it wasn’t. It was bright, grand and hazy. It wasn’t moving, just floating on the air. I watched it for a while and slowly, it took a shape. It was the moon.

I didn’t know if it was because I was twisting my neck or not, but the world was upside down. In that world, the moon was hanging upside down. I coughed to catch my breath, but I couldn’t move. After that, I felt a chill. I was scared. I moved my lips but no word came out. My eyes weren’t closed, yet there was only darkness in front of me. As my consciousness faded away, someone spoke up.

“To live would be more painful than to die, do you still want to live then?”

I Need U 's car accident
25 22Apartment with piano Plays piano and gets frustrated, wants to smoke but girl takes his lighter and writes Y.K. on it
28 21 (Flashback to 220522)

Hasn't been in contact with the others since their trip to the ocean ended abruptly

We didn't really keep in touch once we came back from the ocean. There wasn't any special reason for it. Seokjin-hyung and Taehyung had argued, and Jungkook left a different way, but that wasn't why we became estranged. Then what was the problem? Even so, I didn't contact anyone first. The fact that there was no special reason seemed, in some ways, to be the reason itself.

When I look back on that day, I always remember the sandy wind that had suddenly started to blow. After Seokjin-hyung climbed up to the platform and Taehyung followed him, the rest of us shaded our eyes against the sun and looked up. There was a sense of déjà vu, like this had happened before, and underneath it a strange feeling of unease.

"Hyung. About the beach we went to before. The place with the rock that grants your wishes. Doesn't this seem like that place?"

At Jimin's words, I looked around myself. It happened at that moment. It seemed like Seokjin-hyung and Taehyung were staggering. As if they were about to fall from the platform, and then the sandstorm started. I covered my face with both arms and closed myeyes. I was afraid, anxious about what was happening atop the platform, but in the swirling sandstorm I couldn't bring myself to open my eyes.

When the wind faded and I lifted my head, I saw that Seokjin-hyung was coming down from the platform. He was looking up at Taehyung, who was standing atop the platform still with his head hung low. When he reached the bottom, Seokjin-hyung went to the car and left. I took a step toward him, but there was nothing I could do that night. We went back to Songju. Since Seokjin-hyung had left first, we had no place to spend the night and no transportation. Namjoon was the one who first suggested we go back. Everyone looked disappointed, but we forced ourselves to walk. Maybe we had all wanted Namjoon to say we should continue our beach vacation as planned. But Namjoon said we should go home, and so our vacation ended. The ocean vacation we had so anticipated had turned out to be a disaster.


29 19 Classroom

Studying at GED academy because of his mom insistence, afraid someone will recognize him, doesn't want to remember his school days

A thin beam of light shone down onto the desk. It was a light that had finally bored its way in through the window where the academy's name was written. At the front of the classroom, the teacher was talking into a mic, but it didn't even reach my ears. I was sitting in the farthest row of seats, in the corner, with my head down as I wiggled my fingers as if to try to catch the light that streamed between them.

Nothing had been solved just because I'd left the hospital. Instead, it felt like I'd taken several steps backward. Even going to classes had been because of my mother's worries about what I would do without a diploma, and her suggestion that I at least go to GED academy. I had no response. Now I had nothing I wanted to do and nothing I could do.

I had no desire to go to the academy. Taking up studying again was burdensome, but more than that, I was afraid of being among strangers. What would I do if someone recognized me? What would I say if someone asked why I hadn't graduated high school? I was afraid of remembering the times at school that I had pushed off into a far corner of my memory.


30 22 Bookstore

Unsuccessfully looks for clues about the 'map of the soul', but doesn't really know where to go

I only had one hint. The map of the soul. Words that were unfamiliar, which gave me not the slightest idea what it was or what I was supposed to do with it. Even so, I needed a starting point for something, and I hoped that the 'map of the soul' would be that for me. But it wasn't so I made countless loops and did plenty of searching about the map of the soul, but everything slipped through my hands. Looking back, the time this all started had been that way too. "Do you think you can fix all your mistakes and wrongs and save everyone?" When I had nodded my head in response to this question, I had no idea what I would suffer.

I turned away from the dust-covered books that filled the shelves and left the used bookstore. When I went up the stairs into the alley, cherry blossoms were flying. I suddenly felt like I had been here before, and I looked behind myself. The basement entrance of the bookstore was dark, and the sign wasn't even visible. Maybe I had confused it with a different bookstore. I had come to countless bookstores and libraries to search for a hint about the map of the soul. There wasn't much to say about what I'd found, combing through bibliographies and keywords on the internet. Maybe in that process I had visited this bookstore too or at least a bookstore like this one.

I headed toward the car at the entrance of the alley I started the engine and put my hands on the wheel, but I didn't know where I had to go from here.


Dance studio films dancing, girl comes in and gives cake despite knowing it's not his birthday, remembers his mom abandoning him
21Dance studio

Friend he's known for over 10 years suddenly reminds him of his mother and he panics

Breath suddenly stifled, I avoided the gazes as an instinct. My breath was shaking after dancing for a while, but it wasn’t the cause. I was struck with a thought of how she looked like my mother. No, it wasn’t a thought, wasn’t a recognition, nor was it something I could explain or describe. I couldn’t look straight at the face of the friend whom I had known for more than ten years. We learned dancing together, failed together, fell into despair and cheered up together. We lay down on the floor covered in sweat, throwing towels and joking around. As if touched by a sensation I had never felt before, I scrambled to my feet. As soon as I turned around the corner, I leaned against the wall and stood there. I tried to calm down my unsettled breath, but there came a sound saying “Where are you going, Hoseok-ah?” A voice, maybe it was a voice. A voice calling “Hoseok-ah.” A voice that I can’t even recall well now, that goes back to when I was seven years old.

06 05 20Overpass Girl hands out flyers, he helps her pick them up when they drop, watches her leave
08 22 In front of a mirror

Wears shirt with "Dream" print that he doesn't like, receives text message and then laughs as if something about it was good

I took off my T-shirt. The me inside the mirror was nothing like me at all. The T-shirt with 'DREAM' written on it wasn't my type in any way. I hated the color red, the word "dream", and even the way it clung tightly onto my body. Annoyed, I took out the cigarette and looked for my lighter. There was nothing in my jeans pocket, so I looked through the bag and realized. It was taken away. It was taken from my hands just like that. I was left with the lollipop and this T-shirt.

I ruffled my hair and stood up, but then heard a sound signaling a message came. The moment I saw the name with three words on the phone screen, everything around me suddenly lit up and my heart dropped with a thud. I read the message and snapped my cigarette into two. The next moment, I was smiling in the mirror. Wearing a tight red shirt with 'DREAM' on it, I was smiling like an idiot.

12 20 Country town with

He and go to country town and visit accident site, says they shouldn't die, offers to talk with about anything he wants and solve it together

The town in the countryside was just as I left it, unchanged. Aside from the season having turned, it was exactly the same. In order to avoid the shops and the riverfront, I purposely gave the town a wide berth and headed toward the rest stop instead. The road was mostly uphill. The sun was hot and made me sweat. A scooter overtook us, kicking up a cloud of dust. Taehyung gave a hacking cough and grumbled to himself. In the distance, I could see the curve where the accident had happened.

By now, there wasn't even a sign left on the wayside. Taehyung dropped to his knees, as if someone had collapsed there, and looked down at the asphalt. On the bus on the way here, I had told Taehyung about what happened several winters ago. The competition at the riverside restaurant, the snowflakes falling from the cloudy sky, Taehyung's injured face, the moment as the scooter slid when all the hairs on the back of my neck had stood on end. Taehyung's accident and death. And how easily that incident had been resolved and forgotten. There were things I couldn't say. How Taehyung's face looked when he said he had something to ask me, all the moments that I had lived in this countryside town, and the fact that I had called that friend 'Taehyung.'

"Hyung, let's not die."

I looked down to see Taehyung looking up at me, his hand pressed to the asphalt. I tried to think of something to say, but nothing came to mind. It seemed like under Taehyung's hand, I could see Taehyung—no, that friend from the town—lying there on the white lines. There was no one in the world who would be okay with dying that way. Someone had died, but nobody had taken responsibility and nobody had really mourned him. Of course, I had been the same.

"Let's go."

At my words, Taehyung picked himself up. "Where are we going now?"

Instead of answering, I said, "When we went to the beach a while ago, you said you had something ask me, didn't you? Let's talk about it now. Whatever it is, we'll figure it out together."


13 22Car

Remembers fight and how everyone was alone afterwards, receives text about 's car accident from

After returning from that ocean, we were all alone.

Like it was all set, we didn’t contact each other. We only assumed the existence of each other from the graffiti on the streets, the gas station lighting brightly, the piano sound from the old building. Every time like that, the afterimage of that night came back to haunt me like a phantom. Taehyung’s pupils that blazed with fire, all the eyes that looked at me as if hearing an unbelievable story, Namjoon’s hands that stopped Taehyung, and me who couldn’t endure and threw my fists towards Taehyung.

After Taehyung ran away, we couldn’t find him, no one stayed at the seaside dorm after returning. The broken glass cup, the bloodstain that was starting to get clotted, the crumbled snack pieces, they only reminded us of what happened few hours ago. A photo fell down then. It was the photo we took at the ocean, smiling together.

I passed by the gas station today. One day we will meet again. One day we will smile together like we did in that photo. One day I will gather the courage to face myself. But now, it is not the time yet. The humid wind blew today, just like that day. And the next moment, my phone rang like a warning. The photo hanging on the rearview mirror was shaking. Hoseok’s name appeared on the screen.

“Hyung, Jungkook got into an accident that night.”

The LY poster quote refers to 22/05/22




Hospital bed

Car accident mentionWakes from nightmare with out of body experience, remembers voice from the night of the accident, asks doctor who hit him with the car

I dreamed. In my dream, I was floating in the air above my hospital bed, looking down at a different me lying there. The me in the bed was asleep. The sleeping me's eyelids moved erratically, like I was dreaming, and then without warning my eyes flew open. At that moment, our gazes met.

In the next moment, I was lying in bed. I dreamed of the night of the accident. The headlights became a moon, then changed into bead-like green and red lights. When I opened my eyes, a different me was floating in the air above. My gaze met with the me in the air. Our two gazes intersected and our consciousnesses reversed. I was the me in the bed and then the me in the air, repeating and repeating. The speed of the intersection and reversal started to quicken. I grew dizzy and nauseated.

I awoke with a scream. My sheets were soaked with sweat. My breathing came short and I felt like throwing up. Suddenly, something I had forgotten until then floated up in my mind. Someone's voice. Living will be more painful than dying. Is that okay?

My mother called the doctor to check my condition. The doctor said that since I was recovering quickly, there was no need to worry. I had bruising and fractures, but almost no bleeding. He told me that I had been very lucky in this accident.

I looked at the doctor and asked, "Who was it who hit me?"


On the floor

Mention of (past) suicidal thoughtsDrunk, thinking about telling him 's music is his heart and makes him want to live

I thought of Jungkook's words.

"It's because I like your music. Hyung. It's because listening to your piano makes me cry. Me, I wanted to die several times a day. But when I hear hyung's piano I want to live. That's why. I'm telling you, that's why. What I mean is, hyung's music is like my heart."

Drunk and sprawled out on the floor. I thought of Jungkook's expression as he repeated himself.


14 17Hospital Races through hospital corridor in wheelchair, girl stops him and they shake hands
19 ?

If the seven of us could really become one, Hoseok would be like our guardian, always taking care of us. But he wasn't really as carefree or outgoing on the inside as he seemed on the outside.

Quote from
15 22Street

Injury, trauma/past death (implied)Drunk, remembers 's call and how he ran to the hospital but couldn't go into 's room, cried and blamed himself, person grabs him and he shakes them off

I couldn’t perceive anything but the music blasting inside my head. How much I have drunk, where I am, what I was doing. I didn’t want to know, nor did I feel them to be of any importance. When I stumbled outside, the night had already come. I just let my feet take me. Pedestrians, stalls, walls, I just bumped against anywhere. It didn’t matter. I just wanted to forget everything.

Jimin’s voice still rang vividly in my mind. “Hyung. Jungkook—” Next thing I remember, I was running up the hospital stairs like crazy. The hallways in the hospital were strangely dark and long. Passing by were people wearing patient’s clothes. My heart was pounding. Their faces were ghastly pale. They showed no expression, like they were all dead. Inside my head, the sound of my breathing was banging loudly.

Past the slightly opened door of the room lay Jungkook. Unknowingly, I turned my head. I couldn’t look at him. At that moment, the piano sound, the flame, the sound of the building collapsing suddenly came to my ears. I covered my head and flopped down. It said “It’s all because of you.” It said “If only you didn’t exist.” It was my mom’s voice, no, it was my voice, no, it was someone’s voice. Those words tormented me for god knows how long. I wanted to believe that it’s not true. But Jungkook was lying there. Jungkook was lying there in the hall, with people whose faces were pale as dead passing by. I just couldn’t come in. I couldn’t confirm. And so I stood up, legs wobbling. As I came back out, my tears fell. Funny. I didn’t remember what was the last time I cried.

I turned around at someone grabbing my arm when I was about to cross the road. Who was it? No, it didn’t matter. Anyone was the same. Don’t come near me. Go. Please just leave me alone. I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to get hurt. So please, just don’t come near me.


20 Gas station → Container

A homeless kid called Woochang has been hanging around gas station & containers for two months, today decides to approach him

I looked down at the kid eating remyeon in a hurry. He was eight, maybe ten years old. He looked up at me sometimes as he scarfed down the warm rice and noodles. I asked his name and he'd told me it was Woochang, Song Woochang. He spilled some ramyeon broth on his dirty T-shirt and, wiping at it with his fingers, muttered that he was going to get scolded by his grandma again.

The first time I saw Woochang was around two months ago. I was coming back from the gas station, and I saw him standing in front of the container behind mine. At the time, I thought he had come through looking for a shortcut to get out of Songju station. The container town was no place for a kid to live. But a couple weeks later I saw him in the empty lot next to the containers, kicking an old soccer ball around on his own, and since then I'd run into him several times. He was always wandering around by himself, wearing the same shirt, same pants, same sneakers. It was obvious that he didn't have an adult to take care of him. I couldn't do anything about that. I had my hands full taking care of myself. I always passed by and pretended not to know him.

When I left the gas station and headed back toward the container town today, it was just a little past eleven at night. As I rummaged in my pockets for my key, I saw a crouching shadow. It was Woochang. I could have ignored him like I always did. I could have found my key, opened the container door and gone inside to make myself ramyeon and sleep. But 1 couldn't do that today. I didn't want to.

I looked up at the sky. It had been gloomy all day. The night sky was full of gray clouds. I couldn't see even a single star. Suddenly I felt hungry. If I remembered right, I only had one ramyeon left in the container. I didn't have any in stock and I didn't have enough energy to stock more. Those were my circumstances. I looked down at the key I'd taken out of my pocket. I remembered the scenery I'd looked back on as I left the countryside. I thought of the words I'd written on the bus window.

I walked toward Woochang.


18 19 Convenience store Grabs backpack from a girl and pays for her to prevent her from stealing
23 22 Sorting his music

They discuss what the map of the soul is in a groupchat made, wonders if he should add too, says it's okay to let him rest a little more

When I saw that there were notifications in our chatroom, I opened my phone. At some point it had gotten dark outside. It wasn't easy to put together all the music I had scribbled out until now. I sorted through the ones that had survived the fire and the melodies still in my memory. Surprisingly, among those, most of them were ones I had made in the storage classroom in high school. Even looking back, it didn't seem like I'd worked on that much music during that time. Back then—no, at any given time, I was always running away from music.

I opened the chatroom and saw that there were already quite a lot of messages. The one who had made the chatroom was Jimin, surprisingly, and it seemed like they had already been talking before I was invited, because the conversation started in the middle. Taehyung asked everyone, "Do you know what the map of the soul is?"

It took a long time for Hoseok to answer. "What's that?"

"Hyung, if I knew, would I be asking?" Taehyung said.

"Good point. Then why are you asking?"

They went back and forth like that for a while before Jimin explained the whole story. That he had gone to the hospital and on the way back run into Seokjin-hyung, who said he was looking for the map of the soul. A long white later, Namjoon appeared. He said, "Seokjin-hyung asked me that too, a while back. If I knew what the map of the soul is. He said that the map of the soul was the way to end all of this."

After that, the conversation didn't continue. Maybe we were all lost in thought. What was the thing that Seokjin-hyung needed to end? We had all guessed that Seokjin-hyung had become a little strange. So if he found the map of the soul would he be okay again? What on earth was it, and where could it be found?

The conversation that picked up later went like this.

"Nobody invited Jungkook to this chatroom?"

Jimin replied, "I thought about it, but Jungkook is still hurt." His answer was murky and unconfident. Suddenly I wondered why Jimin had gone to the hospital. What was he feeling, having visited the hospital he was locked up in for so long?

I had closed the chat, but I opened it up again and wrote, "Okay. You did well. Let's let Jungkook rest a little more."


25 19 Convenience store → alley

Third time meeting convenience store girl, lets her sneak after him but then reveals he knows she's there

I slowed down on purpose and listened carefully to the small sound of someone running behind me. Today was the third time we ran into each other at the convenience store. If there was any difference, it’s that she ran away as soon as she saw me. She strolled around the empty lot behind the convenience store and hid away right after I showed up. She thought she were hiding well, but their shadow was stretching out to the front of the empty lot. I giggled. I walked away pretending I didn’t see anything, and she began to follow me.

I entered a narrow alley. This was the only place in this neighborhood where the street lamps weren’t broken. The alley ran long with the street lamp standing somewhere halfway. When the source of the light is ahead, the shadow stretches behind. So right now my shadow would cast behind me. Maybe it would even reach the feet of the person who had been following me with bated breath. I soon reached the street lamp and my shadow immediately hid under my feet. I began to speed up my pace. Leaving the lamp behind, now my shadow started to cast in front of me. Soon enough, another shadow that wasn’t mine appeared on the dusty cement road. As I stopped, she stopped and stood there as well. Two shadows of different heights standing still side by side.

I spoke. “I’m gonna wait until you come here.” The shadow jumped as if surprised, and held its breath like it wasn’t there. “I can see you.” I pointed at the shadow. Soon. the sound of footsteps began to approach me, stamping on purpose. I laughed.

27 22 ?

The Smeraldo was trampled under my feet. And a timeloop began again.

Quote from
30 20 Elevator

Has déjà vu as he opens door, sees rubber band girl, wonders if someone knows him well enough to read him from just his back

With somewhat a weird feeling, I looked at my hands pressing the open button as if it had a will of its own. There were moments like this. Moments that even though it was clearly the first time, I feel like it had repeatedly happened countless of times. Right before the elevator door closed, it opened again and people crowded in. I spotted someone with hair tied up by a yellow rubber band. It wasn’t because I know that person would be here that I pressed the open button, but I felt like that person would definitely be here. I slowly stepped further to the back. I lifted my head up as my back pressing against the cold elevator wall, the yellow rubber band coming into my view.

A person’s back speaks up many thing. Among them, I can only understand a few. Some I can vaguely guess and some are ultimately left ungrasped. I was suddenly struck with the thought that you can only say you know a person when you are able to read everything from their back. If so, maybe there would also be someone who can read me from my back. As I looked up, our eyes met in the mirror. For a second, I avoided the gaze. When I looked up, there was only my face in the mirror. My back was no longer seen.

07 03 19Dance studio

Dancing on his own, wants to be recognized as an equal dance partner

I eventually lay down on the floor. After turning off the music, everything around me became quiet, nothing heard save for the sound of my breathing and the thundering of my heart. I pulled out my phone and played the choreography video I learned by day. His movements in the videos were smooth and accurate. I knew it was the result of countless hours, sweat and practice, and it was greed to someone who didn’t have much like me. But understanding and desiring were different, so I often sighed. I stood up all of a sudden again. I could mimic his turns but my steps were still messed up. I kept making mistakes at the part where we changed position and match the formation. We decided to match it tomorrow, but until then, I wanted to do it properly, one way or another. Rather than a joking “Pretty good” compliment, I wanted to be acknowledged as a real and equal partner like when I danced with him.

04 19Dance studio bathroom

Panic attack, bloodDance accident triggers flashback of arboretum, tries to clean himself, runs out with umbrella to help & girl but stops, convinces himself he's okay

When my senses returned, I was already washing my arm so hard that my skin was threatening to come off. My hands were shaking, breathe coming up and down. Blood was streaming down my arm. In the mirror, I saw my bloodshot eyes. Fragments of what happened earlier came back to me.

Suddenly, I lost focus. I was dancing together with a noona from the dance club when our moves got tangled and we bumped into each other. I tumbled down the rough floor and my arm started bleeding. That moment, I thought back of what happened at the arboretum. I thought I was over it but I wasn’t. I had to run away. I had to wash it away. I had to look away. The me in the mirror was still that same 8-year-old kid who had run away in the rain. And then suddenly I remembered. She also fell down with me.

No one was in the practice room. Past the slightly opened door, the rain was beating hard. I saw Hoseokie-hyung running not far away. He was soaked in the rain. I took the umbrella and dashed out. I ran. Eventually, I halted.

There was nothing I could do. All I could was to fall down and make her hurt, tremble at my own injury and leave her there only to belatedly run and stop halfway. I turned around and walked. Rain splattered on my sneakers with each step. The cars’ headlights flashed by. I wasn’t okay. No, I was. It didn’t hurt. This wound was nothing. I was really okay.

He was 8 during the arboretum incident (11/04/06), so he's 19 here

Finds plane ticket and realizes girl got accepted to international dance team, doesn't want to hear about it and runs away to buy umbrella

I went out to the hallway while waiting for first aid. The hospital hallway was crowded with people walking around even at this time of the night. Water was dripping down from my hair drenched by the rain and sweat. As I shook my hair, her bag fell down. All kinds of miscellaneous stuff spilled out. Coins were rolling, ball pens and towels everywhere. Among them, there was an airplane E-ticket. I picked it up and briefly looked through it.

Then, the doctor called me. It was just a mild concussion, there was nothing big to worry about, the doctor said. A moment later, she came out. “Are you okay?” She said she had a little headache and was about to take her bag back from me. Then she saw the E-ticket sticking out and looked at me. I shifted the bag to the other shoulder, pretending like nothing happened and rushed her to go. When we got to the entrance, it was raining. We stood side by side in front of the door.

“Hoseok-ah”. She called. She looked like she had something to say. “Wait a moment. I’ll go buy an umbrella.” I mindlessly ran in the rain. There was a convenience store not far away. I knew she auditioned for a dance team overseas not long ago. Seeing she already got the airplane ticket, seems like she passed. I didn’t want to hear what she said. I didn’t have the confidence to congratulate her.

07 21

10 19

19 ?

The dreams seemed to be demanding some kind of answer from me. As if they were telling me that there was a problem and I had to fix it. But I couldn't do a thing on my own.

Quote from
11 22Railroad crossing Watches girl drop a book (diary) and picks it up
13 20 Bus

Has been studying at same library with girl for 1 month, takes same bus back, today she misses her stop but he doesn't speak up, only leaves her a hair tie

I rested my head against the window. From the library to the gas station, the same commute everyday. Outside the windows passed the sickeningly familiar landscapes. Will I ever escape these landscapes? I felt that it was impossible to predict what would come tomorrow, what I could hope for.

A girl sat few seats in front of me, hair tied back with a yellow rubber band. She raised her shoulders up as if heaving a sigh and sat down. And then she rested her head against the window. We have been studying at the same library and taking the bus at the same station for more than a month. We never talked but we saw the same landscapes, lived the same time and heaved the same sigh. The hair tie was still in the pocket of my pants.

The girl always got off three stops ahead of me. Every time I saw her getting off, I wondered if she would go to to hand out the flyers again. What did she have to go through? What did she have to endure? How much of the hopelessness that is tomorrow would never come, that is there was already no such thing as tomorrow from the start did she feel? I thought.

The girl’s stop was approaching. Someone pressed the stop button and shortly after, passengers stood up from their seats. But the girl wasn’t among them. She stood still in her seat with head resting against the window. Seems like she was sleeping. Should I go and wake her up? I debated for a moment. The bus reached the stop. The girl still remained the same. People got off. The door closed and the bus left.

The girl didn’t wake up once while the bus passed three stops. As I walked to the door, I debated with myself once again. Obviously if I get off, no one would pay attention to the girl. By the time she wakes up, the bus would be far away from where she was supposed to get off. Who knows how more tiring her day would get because of it.

I got off the bus and started walking to the gas station. The bus soon departed and I didn’t look back. I left the hair tie on her bag but that was it. It wasn’t the start nor was it the end. There was nothing from the beginning so there was no reason for anything to happen. So it was nothing at all, I thought.

14 22

16 17 By a window

Embarrassed by lyrics of song he's singing despite earlier encouragement, sings with closed eyes and suddenly gets emotional

I stood by the window, plugged in my earphones and slowly sang along to the song. It has already been a week. Now I could sing along without looking at the lyrics. I took out one earphone and practiced with my voice. She said she liked it because the lyrics were beautiful, but the lyrics were embarrassing, so I just scratched my head. The sunlight of July was streaming through the big window frame. The green leaves were fluttering and shining, probably because of the wind, and the touch that the sunlight left on my face felt different each time. I closed my eyes. I looked at the yellow, red and blue tingeing behind my closed eyes. I don’t know if it was because of the lyrics or because of the sun, but something was rising from inside my heart, tingling and burning.


17 19On the streets

Runs around looking for girl, finds their graffiti with X over it, remembers their moments together but realizes they're both alone again

My sides felt like they were being torn apart. Sweat was dripping down me. The railway, the vacant lot behind the convenience store, under the overpass, I couldn’t find her anywhere. I even ran to the bus stop but she was nowhere to be seen. People waiting for their buses gave me an odd look. What happened? We didn’t promise to meet but it was weird. She always popped up out of nowhere and followed me around. She wouldn’t give up even if I told her she’s annoying. But everywhere we went together, I couldn’t find her.

I stopped on my tracks in front of a familiar wall. It was a graffiti we drew together, her first ever graffiti. A giant “X” was drawn on top of it. It was her. I didn’t see it in person but I knew it. Why? I had no answer for that. Instead, the afterimages stacked up above the wall.

Her smile flashing at me when I knocked my head while lying on the railway. Her hands helping me up when I fell while helping her run away. Her face burning with anger when I stole the bread. Her gloomy look when we passed the photo studio where a family portrait was hung at the front. Her gaze unconsciously following the passing students. I told her when we were spraying on this wall together. “If you have any trouble, don’t suffer alone, tell me.” The X symbol was drawn on top of all those memories, like it was saying everything was fake. Like it was saying they were all a lie. I unknowingly clenched my fists. Why? I had no answer. I turned around and walked. Both I and she, we were once again alone.

18 On the streets

Find's 's graffiti of , as soon as he recognizes him he sees a second face in the drawing, thinks both look soulless, realizes who he needs to find

I killed time wandering around the convenience store. I used to sometimes skip school by jumping over the back wall of Songju Jeil middle school. And I would sometimes wait for the hyungs in the small park across from the convenience store. I looked around me. It had been a while since I'd visited this neighborhood, but nothing much had changed. I remembered that Yoongi-hyung and Jungkook's house(s)* were in this area. As I looked around, I saw something that looked like graffiti inside one of the alleyways to my right. It looked like Taehyung's work. I walked over that way.

Unconsciously, I stopped in front of the drawing. It was someone's face, scribbled in rough black lines without any sort of warmth. I say 'someone' but I knew whose face it was. It was Seokjin-hyung. As soon as I thought of hyung, someone else's face was superimposed on top of it. It was an entirely different face, but both of those faces looked identical. They had the same eyes. Soulless eyes. Only then did I realize who I had to find.

(* Translator's note: It's not clear from the text whether both Yoongi and Jungkook live in the house or if both of their respective houses are in the area so I'm trying to preserve ambiguity.)


's father's building

He and are looking all over Songju for something from 's dream, end up in front of 's dad's building whose name doesn't recognize

I looked up at the building. There were lights on here and there. Maybe because it was the city center, there were lots of signs for accountants and lawyers. On the top floor, the fifth floor, all of the lights were on. For the last few weeks, Taehyung and I had looked from the tops of all the tallest buildings in Songju. We didn't know what we were looking for. The only clue we had was Taehyung's dream. The can coffee and four-leaf clover he'd seen in his dream. We took that one clue and stayed up all night climbing up and down buildings. It rained for a few days. At first we had brought umbrellas to explore the buildings, but these days we just let ourselves get wet. We found ourselves in a few conflicts because of it. Once, soaking wet, we had been mistaken for hooligans on the building stairs and chased out. It was common for the iron doors to the rooftops to be locked, and it was impossible to check from the landing of the stairs.

I looked up at the building again. I thought to myself, Will this be what we have to find? There was a familiar name on the door. The offices of assemblyman Kim Changjun.

"Who's that?" Taehyung asked.

I looked over at him. "You don't know?"

Taehyung looked back at me, his gaze pure and naïve and totally unknowing. Lately I had been feeling at a loss about Kim Taehyung. There were things that seemed impossible not to know, but Taehyung really didn't know them. Taehyung looked unhesitatingly at things I was too afraid to look at, and reached out obstinately to take someone's hand when no one else would extend theirs.

I said, "It's Seokjin-hyung's father."


20 ?

At different moments, I was overcome with seething doubt and disbelief. And I asked myself: Do I believe Taehyung? And the answer was always the same.

Quote from
20 20Library (?)

The person he remembers sitting next to him is gone, he wants to start again on everything he gave up years ago

I leafed through the advertisement pages of the magazine and looked up. It had been a different face sitting at the window seat of the table on the other side for days. A similar thick book, a similar big backpack, a similar white paper cup, but it wasn’t her. I lowered my gaze at the magazine again. I had been reading the same page for an hour. The repeating thoughts kept me from focusing on the words. Why am I sitting here? I couldn’t think of an answer. In the middle of people who were all indulging in something, I was just here idly flipping through the magazine. The rush to start doing something, anything, struck me. I just couldn’t stay like this.

I returned the magazine and went to stand among the bookshelves. Rows of bookshelves that were taller than my height, filled with books stacked in lins. Wind was blowing through the open windows, sending the dust and the smell of books into the air. It reminded me of high school, when I used to spend time at the hideout classroom with my friends. The books I read then had this smell too. I wonder if the me of the present has grown up any more from those days. I couldn’t say yes immediately. Who knows, maybe everything about me had stopped at those days. I walked to the bookshelf on the other side and picked up a book I used to study then. I needed to start again, one by one, everything starting from the things I had given up then.

22 17 ?

Why did they lie to me?

Quote from
23 Storage classroom

Enter storage classroom together, discover written names of 's dad, a man from the mental hospital, and someone who went missing, and "Everything started here."

We went into the center of the classroom. Old desks and chairs and rolled-up event placards appeared under my phone flashlight. The unused classroom seemed older and older. I looked around myself. What had happened here? Jimin sat curled up against the far wall and Yoongi-hyung perched on the piano bench. Namjoon-hyung wrote something on the window with his fingertip.

After a long while, Namjoon-hyung spoke. "Reminds me of high school," he said. "Since were all here in the middle of the night."

"High school? No thanks," Yoongi-hyung said, sneering a bit.

"Why does the world look like this? We didn't make this world. It was already like this when we were born. So how come we're thrown into it to survive without any tools?" Namjoon-hyung asked.

Just then, Jimin spoke. "Look over here," he said, straightening up. "Seokjin-hyung's dad's name is here."

We went over to the place Jimin pointed out. The wall was densely packed with scribbles, but among them was one person's name. Everyone's flashlights pointed at that name. Jimin pointed out another name. "That's the man from the mental hospital," he said. "I don't know the rest of them, though."

Yoongi-hyung pointed out another name. "Choi Gyuho. He went missing, right?"

Namjoon hyung read the sentence written underneath the names. "Everything started here."


24 22


Outside his mom's building

Silently watches his mom smoke on her balcony from the playground below

How long had I been sitting there? I saw someone come out into the third-floor hallway. They were a long way away and I couldn't make out their face, but it seemed to be a thin middle-aged woman. The woman rested her arms on the banister and looked down at the playground. Then she lit a cigarette. The flame of the lighter shone and then vanished. Cigarette smoke spread out into the blue dawn air.

I looked up at her without moving an inch. Our surroundings grew lighter, maybe because the sun was rising. The woman stayed with her arms on the banister, looking outward, and lit cigarette after cigarette when the last one burned out.

I wondered if she had seen me. My face wouldn't be visible at this distance, but what would she have thought about seeing someone sitting on a swing in a playground at this hour? I supported the swing with both arms and legs so it wouldn't so much as creak. The lit tip of the cigarette flared and waned, again and again. The sun was coming up. The woman lit her last cigarette as she took in the light. Then she turned around and went back inside. I counted doors from the left end of the hall 304. 305. 306. Then that door was my mom's house.


's(?) container

Begs to stop his dad from demolishing his former orphanage, gets angry when says there's nothing he can do, but is actually angry at his helpless self

"Seokjin-hyung, can't you say something to your father? You know, hyung. You know what that place means to me. The orphanage is my home. And if the orphanage is gone then all the kids who live there will end up getting scattered. Even if they have to redevelop the area they could do it without affecting the orphanage."

Words poured forth from me as I entered the container. Everyone looked at me in surprise. Only Seokjin-hyung's expression was unchanged. Even though I was holding back tears as I spoke, Seokjin-hyung looked at me as if it was nothing.

"It's already been decided. There's nothing I can do."

Each word hyung spoke reached me slowly. It was clear to me, the line those words drew between me and Seokjin-hyung. Hyung belonged to a decisive world, and I belonged to a world that couldn't even complain about those decisions. I had thought of Seokjin-hyung as a friend, but now I thought that maybe it was impossible for me to be friends with someone like hyung in the real world.

I got angry at him, a little. I shouted, asking how he could be like this, and I begged him to help. But even then, I already knew. They were all just words. There was nothing I could do. The words I said, the anger I showed—it wasn't directed at hyung. It was directed at me. Me, who could do nothing. Me, who was nothing.



19 's container

At the container to celebrate leaving the hospital but the others are late, wants to talk to and help him escape his situation like they helped him

I reached the container a little before we were supposed to meet. I was going to congratulate Jungkook for getting out of the hospital, but that wasn't all. I had something to tell Seokjin-hyung. It seemed like something important, but also like something hvung might not like. Instead of going into the container, I walked a little longer along the train tracks. A train passed and a strong wind blew. The platform filled with people and then emptied again. At some point, our meeting time had passed. I turned around and took a deep breath.

There was no one in the container. Only hot air, heated by the summer sun, rushed out as if it had been waiting for me. I was ten minutes late, but I was still the first to arrive. What had happened to the others? Had something come up, were they even coming? I turned on the fan and went into the container. Namjoon hyung's container was too still and silent to suit the mood of a party. I got a piece of paper from the desk drawer and wrote 'Congratulations, Jungkook' then stuck it to the wall. It wasn't enough to totally chase away the run-down feeling, but it was better than doing nothing.

Ten more minutes passed as I checked in our chatroom that everyone was on their way. Trains passed outside the open door, and the container shook. As I looked out at the world that seemed to tremble, I thought about that time I'd opened the hospital door and run out. Without the hyungs, without Taehyung and Jungkook, would I have been able to open that door? Just because the door is there, or the door is open, didn't mean just anyone could go through it. Wasn't Seokjin-hyung locked up somewhere like that too? Wouldn't he be waiting for someone to knock on the door? Nothing was certain. I didn't know if it would help. But if the the pieces we had fumbled for could become even a small clue… As my thoughts reached this point, the container door swung open, and Yoongi-hyung entered.


17 's container

leaves the party and drives away, sees that his bumper is damaged and confirms his theory that caused his accident

'Congratulations, Jungkook' was written on the side of the container, but that wasn't the atmosphere at all. The air inside the container was full to the brim with a strange anxiety. Looking back, it had always been like that, recently.

Seokjin-hyung went outside in a moment. Taehyung-hyung followed in a hurry, and the other hyungs did too, exchanging glances. Taehyung-hyung said something, but it didn't seem that Seokjin-hyung was listening. From behind all the hyungs, I watched Seokjin-hyung get in his car.

The car reversed easily, then sped off. The light from inside the container skimmed over its frame. The marks of an accident on the bumper were briefly visible before they were covered by darkness. What was strange was that seeing that felt like nothing. Even if it were a confirmation of what I already knew, it seemed that in front of a hard truth I might feel something complicated or at least be shocked, but in reality it wasn't like that.

The sight of Seokjin-hyung's car disappearing into the darkness was overlaid by the image of the headlights that had come toward me that night. The feeling of my body floating, the moment of being unable to swallow or breathe, the seizure of terror that had shaken my whole body. The unbearable chill I had felt as my consciousness scattered. The shadow of death. The marks of the accident on that car's bumper.

I went inside the container. I sat down and looked up at Jimin-hyung's handwriting spelling out Congratulations, Jungkook. Suddenly, I felt an ache in the leg I had hurt in the accident. The hyungs didn't even think about coming inside. They were talking about something I didn't know.


25 21


26 17 Hospital

Wants to give flowers to girl but she's gone, remembers what they did together

I secretly picked some flowers from the hospital’s garden. I lowered my head from the laughter bubbling up my throat. The sun was beaming dazzlingly in a midsummer day. I knocked the door, no answer. I knocked again and pushed the door open. Somehow, the room felt chilly. No one was inside. Only silent darkness resided here.

I turned around and left the room. I rolled my wheelchair down the hallway feeling tired and frustrated, and that’s when I met her. I came to a sudden halt at something showing up and there stood a girl, hair tied into a ponytail. There was a bench somewhere outside the hospital. I remembered sitting on that bench and drawing while listening to music with her. We even shared strawberry milk on the roof. My hands were still clutching the wild flowers but I had no one to give it to anymore.

17 Far from hospital

Reflects on how all stories he told the girl were about his hyungs, thinks about accident and how the engine sounded familiar

I turned around to find the hospital already far away. The bench where I left the wildflowers on, the window where we looked at the river together, were out of sight. Looking back, she had given me a break to breathe in my suffocating days at the hospital. We would sit on the bench chatting the late afternoon away and the sun would already have set before we even realized. I talked about hanging out at the hideout, the trip to the ocean and even the time I walked to the train station. She told me about every inch of the hospital, about the window from which we could see the river and the stairs that was the secret path to the rooftop. There was nothing about the hospital that she didn’t know.

Her room was empty. I asked the nurses but couldn’t figure out anything, whether she was discharged or moved to another hospital I didn’t know. Somehow, I felt empty. I turned around and started walking again. I could see the school from afar. Thinking of it, most of the stories I shared with her were what I experienced with the hyungs. Most of the stuff I said started with “the hyungs”. To me who was always alone, they became my friends, my family, my teachers. Every story of mine was in their story and I only existed in my relationship with them.

But at some point, this thought started to wander in my mind. Maybe one day they would no longer be by my side. Maybe one day I would come to look for them only to find no one there and no one would tell me why. Maybe something far worse could happen.

I thought of that night. The day the big moon was hanging in the night sky, the world flipping upside down, headlights piercing into the inverted vision, read light from the tail lamps and the strangely familiar sound of the engine. I didn’t want to make a pointless speculation, but that moment kept coming into my head, over and over again.

17 Site of his accident

Revisits the place where the accident happened and wonders if he can trust the others

When I came to my senses, I was at the bus stop. I looked back to see how far I had walked, but the hospital was already out of sight. I waited for the bus and then boarded. It was a bus to that place. I hadn't planned it, but maybe I already knew in my heart. That I had to go back to that place. I had to know the meaning of what happened there. I looked out the window at the passing summer weather and thought to myself. Could I trust the hyungs?

When I got off the bus, it drove off right away. A cloud of dust swirled up. I walked slowly toward the site of the accident. I thought about that night. The huge moon hanging in the sky, the world upside-down, the headlights that came toward me in my reversed vision, the shape of the car that passed me and disappeared, the lights of the tail lamps. An engine sound that seemed somehow familiar.

I laid on the asphalt just like I had that night. I tilted my head and looked up at the sky. It was getting dark, but I couldn't see the moon. It was a quiet street, but if a car were to come, they might not see me and I could have another accident. As I thought that, I asked myself once again. If I couldn't trust the hyungs, who could I trust?


28 19 Dance studio

Stays late to practice, feels less afraid and likes himself while dancing

I stayed behind at the practice room again today. It was past midnight already, the buses had stopped running. The truth is I waited for the buses to stop running so I could have the practice room for myself. Practicing together made me see only my flaws and it was nerve-wrecking, scary, even. Yet, I still wanted to nail it no matter what, which was why I stayed behind by myself every night.

With each passing day, my fear dissipated, strangely enough, only the fact that dancing is so much fun remains. For a long time, I had lived thinking that the small, weak, sluggish image I shaped in my mind was the real me. Dancing got me thinking of constantly of my body weight, my arms length, the speed I could exert and the strength I could possess. When I danced, I was not small and weak. My dance skill improved as much as I had practiced. Even moved that I used to be scared of at first linked up in the end after numerous repetitions. I was growing. A little bit at a time but still, growing. I also found out that I was quite a talkative person, as when I danced it felt like all the things I couldn’t say and didn’t say just poured out. As I started dancing, for the first time ever, I had grown to like myself.



29 22Piano workroom

Guitar girl left, wants to stop running away from music and complete guitar-piano song

How is it that the melody keeps coming to mind only after the person who would perform with me and play the guitar had left? I lay on the sofa, looking at the piano standing over there. One time, after getting expelled from school, I threw away the key from my mother’s piano. A half-burned piano key, the only thing I brought from our house that was destroyed in the fire, thrown out of the apartment window. I thought that was the end. I chanted to myself, determined to never touch the piano again.

It was the next dawn. I jumped down the stairs, unable to wait for the elevator. I thought I was only asleep for a moment, but the sun was already rising. What happened last night suddenly came rushing into my mind. There was nothing in the flower bed beneath the window. The guard told me the garbage truck left not long ago. Just like that, I lost the key from my mother’s piano.

Since that day, I had given up music countless of times. I don’t do it anymore. I won’t go back to it again. Music is nothing to me. But even in the moment of running away from it, I knew, that eventually, I would start making music again just like that time I tripped and jumped down the stairs. Music was like that to me. In music, I felt the pain but I also felt the freedom. I was addled but at the same time, clear. Fear and confidence, hope and despair, it seemed like I was living in all those conflicting emotions.

I suddenly wanted to play the piano. I wanted to meet myself there, a self that pretends to be strong but is actually timid and cowardly. I wanted to swear, to taunt, to hurt, hit, destroy, to hold myself and cry. And I wanted to stop running away. I wanted to complete the melodies I wrote with the guitar and piano. I might really be able this time.

Remembers losing his mother's piano key on 20/06/25
31 Different city (Hagok)

Arrives in Hagok and purposefully acts rude and nothing like himself, bumps into someone and berates them, then realizes they know each other

My first impression of Hagok was that it was similar to Songju, but a little more lively. I fell behind the people rushing to leave the platform and walked leisurely. It was unlike me to move slowly, but I moved so slowly that I almost interfered with the flow of people around me. I behaved like someone who had vowed to behave as unlike Jung Hoseok as possible. I paid no mind to people around me and moved as I wished. I ate spicy foods that I didn't normally like, and when I paid, I didn't tell the server that the food was good. When no one was around me I even spit on the ground.

I followed the map on the internet to the place where the store was going to be opened. It was the first floor of a strip mall near a high school. Next door there was a stationery store and a 20-hour kimbap restaurant. It was so much like the location of Two-star Burger in Songju that it was almost funny. I looked around me, wondering where I should look for a house if I was going to move here, and as I was looking I bumped into someone.

"Sor—" I began to apologize automatically, then stopped myself. I purposely put some strength in my gaze and looked at that person with a critical gaze. "Look where you're going." Hagok's Jung Hoseok was a rascal, a crazy person, an idiot who did only what he wanted.

That illusion lasted only for about five seconds. "Hoseok-hyung, is that you?" It was someone I knew.


08 02 ?

Sends finished song based on sheet music from storage classroom to with the title "If we're together, we can laugh"

I sent the music file to Seokjin-hyung and then laid down in place. I had found something written in the margins of the sheet music I'd brought from the storage classroom. "If we're together, we can laugh." It wasn't my handwriting. I remembered something from a while ago. It was on a foggy day. Somehow, Seokjin-hyung and I ended up crossing the athletic field. We were awkward with each other. I shoved my hands in my pockets and walked slowly on purpose. I hoped he would leave me behind, but hyung wasn't like that. Instead, he made fumbling attempts at conversation, and each time he did, it got a little more awkward. I asked despite myself, "When was the last time you laughed for real, hyung?" Hyung didn't answer. I didn't ask again.

If we're together, we can laugh. Somehow, this sentence seemed like the answer to my question. I wasn't sure that hyung had written it. I didn't need to be sure. The melody on the sheet music was childish. It had only been two years ago, but my music from back then was underdone and aggressive. It didn't connect smoothly and it wasn't beautiful. When I thought of high school, I thought only of getting drunk and staggering around, but it wasn't like every day had been like that. I stayed up all night polishing my song from back then, and I gave it the name, "If we're together, we can laugh."


Maybe referencing 's thought from 20/07/17
3 Playing FPS game

Ruthlessly takes down enemies, thinks they are somehow similar to his hyungs, gets shot in the shoulder by someone he thinks is and feels enraged

"What are you doing, not killing anyone?!"

I dragged myself back to the present at someone's urgent shout. Onscreen, a shooting game was going on. Someone yelled in my headset that the enemy had appeared. I immediately grabbed the mouse. I shot like crazy. The opponents I shot fell like dolls without stuffing. I moved the mouse and looked around the map. There was a railway track right through the center of the map, and to either side of the track there were large metal containers stacked all around. It looked just like the container town at Songju station.

I changed my weapon. It was a machine gun that could shoot continuously. In the distance, an enemy wearing a black bandana appeared. I aimed my gun, but for a second he looked like someone I knew. The enemy was knocked out in a single blow. I didn't think twice about shooting every single one who appeared. Unconsciously, I started thinking of the hyungs. I laughed. Come to think of it, they were a little similar. I took out each one and advanced. I shot every enemy that came from the containers. For a moment, I looked down at one of them on the ground. I thought to myself, Is that Namjoon-hyung?, and in that moment someone's bullet hit my shoulder. I used the mouse to look up and saw an enemy holding a gun. It was Seokjin-hyung. All at once, my rage boiled over.


22Storage classroom

urges to remember something, they find 's dad's diary describing life similar to 's, realizes they had to come back here & he has to confront mistakes

I opened the door to the storage classroom and entered. In the unchilly air of a summer night, the smell of mold and dust blended together. For a moment, several scenes crossed my mind. The shining shoes of the principal, the face Namjoon had standing outside the door, the day I avoided Hoseok and went back alone. Suddenly, I felt a pain inside my head and felt a chill. Those complex feelings, anger, fear, whatever you call it, flooded in like a pain. All the signals I felt with my body and my heart were clear. I had to get out of here.

Taehyung grabbed my arm as if he saw the look on my face. “Hyung, try a little bit more. Remember the memories here.” I shook off Taehyung’s hands and turned around. We had been walking around in the heat for hours. We were exhausted. The other guys looked at me like they didn’t know what to say. Memories, memories that Taehyung talked about were just meaningless stories to me. Stories about that thing I did, that thing that happened to me, that something that we did together. It could be the case. It was the case. But memories are not understanding or comprehension. Experience is not something you hear and figure out. It’s something that has to root deeply in your heart, your mind, your soul. But all the memories I had there were but bad things. Things that made me suffer and made me run away.

A fight happened when I decided to go back and Taehyung tried to stop me. But we were all exhausted. The way we hit, dodged and stopped happened with a sense of slowness and heaviness like we were in a dense, hot liquid. In a flash, Taehyung’s legs got tangled with mine. I was wondering if my shoulders hit against the wall when the next moment, I lost my balance and stumbled.

I didn’t know what happened at first. The thick dust made me unable to open my eyes and breathe. I had a fit of coughing. “Are you okay?” After hearing someone ask, I realized I fell on the ground. I pushed myself up and saw what I thought was the wall had collapsed. Beyond the wall was a huge space. No one moved for a moment. “Oh my god, but we had been here for so long!” Someone said. No one could imagine such space existed on the other side of the wall. But what is that? The dust settled and a cabinet standing in the middle of the empty space came into our sight.

Namjoon opened the cabinet’s door. I took a step closer. Inside was a notebook. Namjoon picked up the notebook and turned over the first page. For a moment, I held my breath. On the first page of the seemingly old notebook was an unexpected name. It was my father’s name. Namjoon was about to turn over another page when I snatched it out of his hands. Namjoon looked at me surprised but I didn’t mind. I flipped through the pages. The old notebook passed through my fingers like it was about to crumble.

It was a diary handwritten by my father about what he and his friends experienced together in high school. It didn’t tell the story of every day. Some were every month and there were even illegible pages coated with something akin to blood. But still, I could know. That my father and I went through the same thing, that he made mistakes just like me and that he ran and ran again to make up for it.

My father’s notebook was a record of failure. In the end, he gave up and failed. He forgot, turned away and avoided. He let his friends down. The diary’s last page was smeared with but black ink. The ink stained the blank page after it, after it, until the very last page. That stain was an eloquent evidence of my father’s failure.

I lost track of how much time passed by. Looking at the wind blowing through the window that had started to feel cooler, it musts be the darkest time of the day, before the sun rises. The other guys including Namjoon were sitting on the floor sleeping. I lifted my head up and looked at the wall. I once saw my father’s name written somewhere here. Under it was a sentence. Everything started here.

It was when I was about to close the notebook that I felt something at the top of my fingers. On top of the ink stains, blurry letters came into my sight. I felt the murky air outside the window. Seems like the sun would soon rise. But the night hadn’t ended yet. It was neither night nor dawn. In the stains black like darkness entwined with the hazy light, between lines and lines, were faint letters.

The notebook held more memories than it recorded. What my father decided to forget, what my father decided not to remember was left as it is on the letters, between the margins and the space. The color had faded but the many times my father went through, his fear, his despair and frail hope that he would never overcome it were swirling under my fingers like letter punches, left marks as they are once pressed. The distorted map to my father’s soul was left as it is.

After closing the notebook, my tears fell down. I sat still for a while. When I turned around, the guys were still sleeping. I looked at each of them. Who knows, maybe we had to come back here. This was where everything of us happened. We learned of the meaning of being together and the joy of laughing together. My first wrongdoing, my first mistake that I had never been able to admit myself was left like an open wound.

The thought that none of these was a coincidence crossed my mind. In the end, I had to come here. Only then would I be able to find the meaning of the pain and anxiety I faced because of the mistakes and wrongdoings I made and for the first time, take the first step towards finding the map of my soul.

Remembers principal from 19/03/02, from 20/03/20, from 20/07/17

Photos on the floor suddenly make him vividly remember everything he experienced with the others, sees something shimmering in his pocket

All at once, the images in the photos on the floor appeared to move. Jungkook turned around to look at me, as if he had heard the sound of Hoseok and Jimin's laughter. In the next moment, I could hear Yoongi's piano. Namjoon and Taehyung laughed and ran on the beach. Those moments lifted from the photos and hovered in the air like a movie. There was music and bursts of laughter in the bright sunshine. Moment after moment overlapped and movie after movie played. And it felt like something unidentifiable was released from my heart. It flowed through my veins into each corner of my body. Some kind of dam in my head crumbled and memories gushed forth like a flood. They whirled around my head so furiously I couldn't come to my senses. The entire room was alight with memories. Sad memories, nostalgic memories. Troubling memories, and enjoyable memories eddied around me. As I watched them, I felt something unbelievable. How could I have forgotten all of these moments? Then I saw it. Something was shimmering inside my pocket.


07 20

11 19 Graffiti wall → home

AbuseGirl sprayed "It's not your fault", when he comes home he stands up to his father and vows to be different and protect

I was about to turn my steps when I discovered small letters underneath the “X” letter, a short sentence scratched into the wall. “It’s not your fault.” It was her. I didn’t see it in person or knew her handwriting, but I could tell. It was like her last greeting, saying the reason she left wasn’t because of me, that what happened to me wasn’t because I’m a bad person. It was like she was telling me not to blame myself, not to be distressed about it and to have courage.

Next thing I knew, I was already in front of my house. There came my sister’s scream beyond the door. I slammed it open and came in to a familiar scene in front of my eyes. I blocked my father, grabbing his arm as I looked at him in the eyes. He seemed taken aback at first but soon he threw a punch at me. I was knocked out over and over again. My sister’s crying rang louder. My chin hurt and the inside of my mouth reeked of a rusty iron smell. I still didn’t give up. I clung tight onto my father as he shouted with rage and his blows rained on my back and shoulders, but the more he went the tighter I clung onto him.

It wasn’t like I didn’t feel the pain or didn’t feel scared. But the moment I let go, that daily life would repeat itself again. I wanted it to be different. I wanted to change it.

I don’t want to. I’m not like my father. I will protect my own family.

12 Near arboretum

Hugs and soothes his younger self and tells him he'll meet great friends, opens eyes and sees he's alone near the arboretum

I embraced my trembling younger self. I felt my damp body and racing heart. "Just wait a little more. When you get older you'll meet some great friends. With them you'll become a better person. It could get better then. Just be a little bit stronger," I mumbled. When I was done talking, I hugged myself tighter. Tears welled up. I couldn't hold them back and started to cry.

How much time passed? When I opened my eyes, my younger self had disappeared. I stood up and wiped my eyes, then looked up at the sky. The midday sky was bright and cloudless, and my surroundings were silent. In the distance I saw the entrance to the arboretum. There wasn't a single trace of rain.



13 21 Dance studio

Watches + girl dance because he hurt his ankle, realizes is expressive, wonders why the girl reminds him of his mother

Jimin and she were standing in the middle of the practice room. The five seconds of silence it took getting into prep position and waiting felt like eternity. Music blasted from the speaker as they started with the first move. It was the choreography I had been practicing with her until recently. I sat on the floor, watching them.

When I was told I would not be able to dance for a while due to my ankle, it was tough, to be honest. Having to see someone else dance and not me was frustrating. But as I helped Jimin practicing and watched him grow, I realized that not getting to dance myself isn’t a big problem, that as long as I continue to dance in one way or another, I can be happy.

When I practiced with Jimin, I couldn’t let even a small mistake slide. Sometimes, when Jimin subtly misses the timing or dances smaller than expected, I would pause the music and check every move. But now, sitting on the practice room floor, some sort of audience seats, and focusing on him, Jimin’s dance looked different, something bigger than just single moves. What I thought to be nothing but mistakes when we practiced together felt different, trivial mistakes and rawness becoming his unique aura. Jimin had his own timing and expression, albeit clearly different from mine. Jimin was shining in his own way, his dances were speaking to the heart.

The music ended, so did Jimin’s dance. His face was glowing with joy and excitement. Next to him stood she. Soon, she would be leaving for overseas. Our eyes suddenly met. I raised a thumb at her, to which she gave a wide smile. She bore no resemblance to my mother. Strange. Why did I think they looked alike when I can’t even remember my mother’s face? I felt a pang of pain somewhere in my heart, a sore sensation from the yet to recover ankle.

15 22Smeraldo shop

Stops car abruptly and sees flower shop, orders special (Smeraldo?) flower for someone because he wants to be a good person

It was after getting out of a jammed crossing and starting to speed up when I came to a sudden stop, unknowingly. The car behind beeped their horn and passed by, someone was hurling curses, but amid the noise of the city, I didn’t hear anything. There was a small flower shop at the corner of the alley on the left. I didn’t stop abruptly because I saw the shop. It was more like I discovered the shop after stopping my car.

When the owner - who was organizing papers at the side of the shop currently under interior construction - approached me, I had no expectation. I had already gone around several places but even the florists had no idea about the existence of the flower. They only showed me flowers with a similar color. But I wasn’t looking for something with a similar color. The flower had to be real. After I told the owner the flower’s name, he looked at me for a while. Then he said even though the shop hadn’t been officially opened yet, he could deliver the flower to me, and asked me. “Why does it have to be that flower?”

As I turned the handle and got back to the road, I started to think. The reason why it had to be that flower. There was only one reason. Because I want to make her happy. Because I want to make that her laugh. Because I want to show them the me that she likes. Because I want to become a good person.

25 In burning container

Trapped in burning container with Woochang, just when they try to escape their exit gets blocked

I dropped to the floor of the container. The inside of the metal container was so hot I could barely open myeyes. I looked around with my face scrunched up. It had only been ten minutes since I'd told him to wait while I went to get ramyeon. I heard a cough and looked around and saw Woochang crouched further inside. I doused a blanket in water and wrapped it around Woochang's body. I pointed to the window. "We're going to have to jump through there," I said. "Woochang-ah. You can do it, right?" Outside the door, crimson red flames were shooting up. I grabbed Woochang's hand. "On the count of three, we're jumping. One, two…" In a moment, something fell outside the door. The materials that were stacked next to the container seemed to have collapsed in the flames. Sparks flew amid the dust. Woochang and I stepped back, shocked. In a split second, the exit had been blocked.


29 19

30 22

22 Room with mirror Version 1 (failed timeline): Tips vase over, dresses up in a suit and leaves
22 Room with mirror Version 2: Catches vase before it tips over, takes off sweater and wears tshirt and cap instead of a suit



Accident/DeathVersion 1 (failed timeline): Wonders why he was given the ability to undo things, watches the girl get hit by car, drops flowers, wishes to turn back time

Can anyone remember the moment love starts? Can anyone foresee the moment love ends? What meaning lies behind the incapability of humanity to perceive those moments? And for what reason was I given the power to undo all of them?

The car came to a sudden stop, the headlight flashed, the car crashed, she was thrown upward and fell. In the midst of all those chaotic moments, I just stood defenselessly. I heard no sound, felt no sense. It was summer but the wind felt chilly. Something rolled down along the road, making sound on its way. And then there was the smell of flower. It was when reality hit me. The Smeraldo bouquet fell out of my hand. The girl was in the middle of the road some distance away. Blood was seeping through her hair. Dark crimson blood, flowing down along the road. I thought. If only I could turn back time.

22With diary girl

Version 2: Returns diary & leaves, wants to be a good person but recognizes he has to accept his failures as parts of himself and not try to be someone else

She seemed flustered seeing the diary that she thought to have been lost. Her favorite movie, places she wanted to go, her favorite flower, the future she has been dreaming of, all showed up with every turn of the page. They were also what I did for her. I couldn’t utter out an apology. The diary lay between us like a traffic light in the crossroad.

I wanted to make her happy. I wanted to make her smile. I wanted to be a good person. I thought it would be possible if I follow what the diary said, but no. The more I try to become someone else, the more afraid I get. Would she find out my true self? Would she be disappointed and leave me? I had been frantically concealing myself and turning away from myself, but like how you can’t put a period to a sentence without subject, I lost my true self, unable to move forward any further and just wandering around in circles.

Now, I know. That my imperfections, my mistakes, my failures are also a part of me. That the only way I can take the next step forward is to be honest to myself. I stood up. She didn’t stop me.

I made my way out to the street and took off my hat. I swept my hair back, times of endeavoring to become someone else trickling through my fingers. I turned around, meeting the eyes of my own reflection in the window. Pale face, colorless lips, scrawny shoulders. I looked utterly shabby. I let out a laugh. The me in the window laughed along.