Taemin curled into a small ball under the covers on his bed. This is not the reality I wanted. Why can’t they see that? He started dragging his nails down his arms. Within moments his arms were bright red and swollen tracks from the repetitive motions were showing. His body was shaking. Everyone should stay away from me. I’m like a poison. I’m not good enough. I’ll never be good enough. The longs scratches in his arms are starting to completely break through the skin. His fingernails are covered in blood, but he ignores it as he continues to scratch- no, dig at his arms. There was no specific reason for Taemin to have sunk so low into depression. I just accepted too much. I pushed too much. I failed too much. I let everyone down. Why do they bother?
“Taeminnie?” Onew sat down on the edge of the younger one’s bed. “Taeminnie, are you okay?”
No. I’m slowly falling apart. It feels like dying. I am dying- not physically, but I can tell it’s coming. I’m dying. Mentally, emotionally, but not physically. I am still present. I can smile and wave with the best actors there are. But I am about to die. I don’t want to respond to hyung though, he’ll be disappointed- or he’ll care. No. He can’t care. That will make it worse. Don’t care hyung, leave me alone- go away.
There was a small whimper as a reply from Taemin as his hands didn’t cease their constant motions. The blood on his arms was transferring to the sheets and spreading to the rest of his hands. No one was supposed to care and Onew saying something now of all times was like pure torture for Taemin. His hands had taken on a mind of their own. This was not how his life was supposed to be. Why do I feel so useless? Why are there people who despise me? What have I ever done wrong? Do the hyungs even know what I am feeling? Should they know?
“Taeminnie, please face me.” Onew sighed lightly. His favorite dongsaeng had been hiding in his room most of the time in more recent days, and he hated it. “Taeminnie, if you don’t face me I will definitely pull the blanket off of you and force you to look at me.” There was another whimper from Taemin, only it sounded more of pain then of anything else. Onew couldn’t take it anymore and he gripped the blanket that was covering Taemin in one of his hands. He hesitated for a moment and sent a quick prayer to the heavens above before pulling the blanket down.
Seeing the tear stains on Taemin’s cheeks broke Onew’s heart, but seeing the blood on the sheets and on his arms instantly sent Onew’s mind reeling. “Taeminnie…” He choked out in a whisper. Taemin’s eyes flung up to look at his hyung.
“Onew-hyung!” A surprised, choking, crying Taemin spoke the name with some difficulty.
Without a word, Onew pulled Taemin up and encircled his arms around the maknae in a tight hug. “Why?” Silent tears had found their way to Onew’s eyes and were beginning to trail down his cheeks. “Why, Taemin? Is it because of the work? The fans? The antis? Are we not being good enough to you? Have I been a bad hyung? Why would you…?” Onew pulled back a little to face Taemin, “Why did you do this to yourself?”
“Onew-hyung!” The tears were spilling down, as he threw his arms around the leader of the group.
There was no need to exchange anymore words as they hugged one another. The questions and the answers to them were all hanging in the air around them. Onew knew he had to be there for his dongsaeng, and Taemin knew that he would be there for him from no on. No more falling apart, no more tears from feeling useless, no more need to feel useless or ridiculous. Just a simple hug and all the answers presented themselves. The burning and salty tears continued to find their ways down the faces of the two boys, but they were ignored in favor of the comforting warmth of the hug they shared. A hug that spoke more words in thirty seconds then they could exchange in an hour of conversation.
Will you be there for me? Yes.
Do you care for me? I always will.
Can I count on you? 365 days a year.
Will You ever do this again? Never.
Will you lean on me from now on? Forever.
A simple hug, and Taemin knew Onew was there. A simple hug, and Onew knew the younger would lean on him. A simple hug, without a need for words.