Summary: Kyuhyun is obsorbed in his photography which pushes Sungmin away. With they get back together?
I set up the camera with great care. I kept adjusting it to find the perfect picture. But there’s no such thing is there? The perfect picture is impossible. My thoughts wandered to your smile and your pink, pinchable cheeks. I wondered if having you in the picture would make a difference. I pull away from the viewfinder and look at the valley before me. Open fields as far as the eye could see. The snowcapped mountain tips to the left; almost hidden behind the wide growth of trees. The sunset just beginning in the background. Clouds numbing the colors from their deep reds into light pinks and pleasant oranges. Nature at its finest. It made me think of you.
If I could have seen beyond everything, I thought that somehow I would have achieved the perfect picture. My strive for perfection was what got me where I was. My dream to find perfection is what drove me onward. You knew that all too well. I always felt bad for driving you away like that. But you never seemed to hold it against me. You just smiled at me and stepped away. But I’m sure you were hiding your tears, right?
I looked through the camera once again after adjusting it once more. But with barely a glance, I sighed and pulled away. How could something as simple as pressing a button seem so hard?
I opened my window and let the breeze off the ocean flow through my hair. I closed my eyes and let the salty wind caress my skin until I became cold. I opened my eyes and looked below my house. The city lay before me and the calming puffs of air dissipated when I began to smell cigarette smoke and saw the smog of the factories.
I was never one to flaunt my money and buy an expensive and well placed house. It seemed like taunting in a way. I have money; why do I need to show that to those less fortunate? There was no point in having a big house anyway. I didn’t share my current house with anyone anymore…
My hands curl into frustrated fists at the thought. But it’s too late for me to change my decision now. You chose your path. And I chose mine. That was everything we needed to know, and that was how we lived.
I turn away from the window and look at my room. It’s covered in pictures hanging from the walls. They were all sizes and many were still not framed or not yet hung up on the wall. I knew I had to reorganize my prints so as to fit them all on the limited space. But that was a good thing to me. If any part of my wall was empty, I felt it needed to be filled up.
But there was a box full of pictures sitting in the corner. I wanted to throw those pictures out, but I couldn’t. My heart wouldn’t let me, and deep down, I know it’s because I still loved you. Yes. Every one of the pictures that that box contained, were of you.
My thoughts were disrupted when I heard a soft humming coming from outside my window. I turned around without a second thought. I knew it was you, but my heart wouldn’t let me ignore you that easily. I stuck my head out the window to see if I could spot you. It’s not hard.
You bounced down the street humming your tuneless melody and your loose pink shirt bounced around your figure as your skipping continued. That was how you got your nickname from me. My Bunny. You never could stop hopping like that. You even did that when we held hands and I asked you to stop, but secretly wish you wouldn’t.
The memory turned sour when I watched you skip by without a single glance up at my window. I wondered if you did it on purpose because you knew I was here. Maybe you hated me after all. At the very thought of that, I had to stop myself from slamming my window closed with a loud bang. But I couldn’t stop the tears from stinging my eyes as they fought to make an escape. If you had lost all feeling for me, I would force myself to get rid of my feelings for you.
But no matter how hard I tried, I still could not bring myself to toss out your old pictures.
One foggy morning, I felt like it would be a great opportunity to get some pictures in. The environment was always more interesting when the low clouds were slowly devouring the foliage and small animals that inhabited the area. There was never a single picture that looked alike.
Something brought me to the fields only a mile from my house. I didn’t know why I was there. The area was dull, even on the crystal clear days. I never found much to capture in my lens, but something was calling to me for once.
So I set to work on setting up the camera and trying different angles of the twisted tree. Most photographers would have loved the eerie feel it gave when the fog wound its thin tentacles around the grey branches. But I wasn’t seeing the shot I wanted. However, movement, caught my eye as a figure appeared just beyond my line of sight.
Someone was moving around behind the tree. They were only just visible in the thick mists. I don’t think they saw me, but I saw them and I wanted to know what they were up to. I slowly got closer and closer, but the person was gone.
When a branch creaked, I tilted my head towards the sky. That was when I saw you again. My hands automatically brought my camera to my eye. I saw you within the frame and pressed the small black button. A click resounded in the silence and I was brought back to reality. I almost ran. I didn’t want you to find me. I was still trying to get over you; and obviously failing miserably.
But you never looked down at me. You never moved. You just stared out into the horizon; lost in your own world like always. Then the clouds swallowed you whole and I no longer saw your beautiful face.
It was time for my show. I dressed nicely and showed up to the gallery a couple hours early to make sure all the necessary preparations were completed. They only needed me to pick a few more of my pictures to display when they found out they had some extra room.
But I had none left.
Out of nowhere, our friend suggested that I put up a few of you. I didn’t want to, but somehow he talked me into it. Some were just pictures of you smiling brightly and another held you singing for a small crowd with your mouth opened wide and your eyes sparkling with joy.
You loved to sing all the time. You told me I had a nice voice too, but I was too busy with my photography to keep singing. I would only sing for you, and even then, I realized that was a rare event. But you smiled whenever you heard music and danced whenever you had room. I wished I had joined you back then. Maybe I would still have you now if I did.
My thoughts wandered to the final picture of you I had chosen. It was night. But you were lit up by some kind of spotlight behind you as you stood on tiptoe with your hand waving madly in the air in farewell. You did that whenever we happened to walk by the airport when a plane was taking off. That time, I had my camera with me. ‘Lights and Farewells’ read the caption below the picture. It wasn’t a very creative title, but I thought it suited the moment very well.
That night, as all the prestigious businessmen and my wealthy friends came to view my work, I only looked for one face. I hoped beyond all reason that you would appear behind a pillar and tell me you were proud of my work or that you were embarrassed that I put up pictures of you. But you never came, and I was left alone with the show lights and images that were no longer beautiful; even in my own eyes.
So here I am, packing my camera in its protective case for the long flight to America. I got an offer for a job there. One of the producers had come to my showing and liked my work. He asked if I would like to work on a special project for a few months. I had accepted quickly without caring about the full details. If it got me out of this country for a while, I would do anything.
I pack my clothes into my suitcase with a slight numb feeling working its way into my heart. I haven’t cried about you in so long and I think I’m starting to fall away from those old feelings. That will make leaving easier. I smile bitterly to myself as I shut the case tight and grab my camera. The flight ticket is in my pocket. I don’t need anything else.
As I go through security and I approach my gate, I’m starting to realize more and more that, ‘I’m leaving.’ My heart becomes ice cold. I hand my ticket to the flight attendant and they let me pass to my seat. First class. I keep my camera with me at all times. It was small enough to be a carry on.
As the plane takes off, I can’t help but wonder if you were watching. Maybe you waved farewell to me as I left? Then again, maybe not. But just the thought makes me a little more confident in my choice to leave. Just a little.
I fall asleep after an hour into the ride and wake up just before it ends. The landing is rough as always, and I feel somehow different when I think of where I am. America. The place where dreams come true. The place where I will be living for the next couple of months.
I get off the plane and turn my phone back on. There’s one text message. When I open it and read it, I drop my camera case and my heart breaks.
I waved goodbye.
Come back soon.
I still love you.
I fight every urge to collapse right there in front of the gate. I swallow multiple times in order to keep my tears from coming up and bite back my sobs. I pick up my camera and rush out. I was a damn fool.
I love you too Min.