O11 lost attention
When everyone had gotten onto the bus and drove away with the taxi, it was only me and Dowoon left. We were still sitting in the restaurant, although I didn’t really know why. Dowoon wanted to drink the last bit of his beer, but I took the glass from him and placed it somewhere on the table far away from him.
‘I wanna drink it~’, he said in a drunk voice. ‘It’s okay, you can drink whatever you want when you’re home. But we should get going now.’ I stood up and put my jacket on, grabbed my phone and was ready to go. ‘Are you coming?’ I smiled at the maknae.
But he didn’t seem to understand what I was asking from him. ‘We’re going home, Dowoon.’ He blinked a couple of times but kept quiet and didn’t move a muscle.
I sighed and grabbed his hand, pulling him up. He nodded and finally seemed to get what I wanted from him. I looked around but saw that he didn’t have a coat or any other things he had to take with him, so I said goodbye to the waitress and exited the building.
Immediately when we were outside, and I let go of Dowoons hand, he started staggering and almost bumped into a few strangers while walking. When I was about to decide to grab him again, he tripped over his own loose shoelace and felt on his face.
He let out a moan in pain and I quickly got on my knees to help him up. ‘It hurts, hyung.’, he whined. He was covering his mouth and chin with his hand, but I pulled it away so I could se the damage.
I hissed between my teeth. I did look quite bad. He had a painful, bloody scratch on his chin and his lip was bloody. I took my jacket off and dressed him with it, because he was probably awfully cold now since alcohol cooled down your body, but also so I could wipe away the blood with the sleeve of my sweatshirt since I didn’t have any napkins.
Dowoon grabbed my bloody sleeve and looked at it with big, sad eyes. ‘Is hyung hurt?’ I chuckled and shook my head. ‘That’s your blood, Dowoonie. I’m okay, but we should get you home.’ Dowoon seemed to be shocked by the news that it was his blood on my sleeve, and brought his hand up to his face to feel where he was bleeding from. A hiss in pain escaped his mouth when he touched it, and I pulled his hand away. ‘Don’t touch it, we’ll clean it when you’re home.’
When I pulled him up, he barely stood on his feet for a few seconds, before he would’ve fallen over again if I didn’t catch him. I sighed and swung his arm around my shoulders and grabbed him by the waist so I could support him while walking, because this was absolutely hopeless.
We walked for a while in silence, before I caught Dowoon sniffing my jacket that he was wearing. ‘What are you doing?’, I laughed. ‘Hyung smells nice.’, he said in a serious, monotone voice. ‘The jacket smells like hyung.’
I laughed and ruffles his hair. ‘Cutie.’, I chuckled. He smiled at me and blushed his already pink cheeks red, and I blushed back, quickly turning my head away, breaking eye contact with the younger.
It was again silent for a while, before it was my turn to almost trip over my shoelaces. ‘Stay right here, I’ll tie them for a moment.’, I said, forgetting how drunk he was for a moment.
While tying, my phone in my pocket buzzed, and I took it out, expecting the message to be from Sungjin saying that he and Jae were home or something. But to my surprise, it was from my mother. She and my father were away for the month on a business trip, I didn’t expect to get a message.
-Mom: How is my handsome son doing?
-Young K: I’m doing good, I’m walking home from hanging out with friends right now. How are you and dad doing? And why this message now?
-Mom: We’re doing great! And no particular reason why, I was just curious. We have to go now, love you xxx
-Young K: goodbye, I love you too
I decided to not tel her about an underaged, drunk friend being with me.
Wait a second... Where IS the underanged, drunk friend!? I looked around in panic when I saw that he wasn’t standing there anymore. Oh, why did I even loose my focus on him?! Did he run away? Did he got kidnapped!?
Okay Brian, think clearly. He can’t be far away, since he could barely walk. Just stay calm.
I got on my tiptoes and searched around, to finally see a black-haired head and leather jacket stumbling towards the little port that was located in the city for the ferries. Without doubt that this was Dowoon, I ran after him the quickest I could. When I still had to cross the busy road, he was already somewhere by the water. And at the time that I had reached the port, I heard an awful splash.
‘Dowoon!’, I yelled. I could see him lay in the water, trying to swim, but awfully failing. Without hesitation, I emptied my pockets from my phone and wallet, took off my sweatshirt and jumped into the dark, icy cold water. My breath fastened and my heart pounded loudly against my chest when Dowoon was now completely under water, and I couldn’t see him anymore. The water seemed even colder when I got head-under and groped towards Dowoon. I felt him, and first thought that what I was touching were his hips, but I was surprised by him already having sunken so deep that it where his shoulders. It was tough trying to drag him up so he could breathe again. I had never been the best swimmer, but now our clothing where also keeping us down and my shoes made it harder to swim. Dowoons body was motionless and heavy. For a second, it really looked like he was dead. But I had no time to examine him, I first had to get us out of the cold water. I tried putting the unconscious boy on my back so I had all my limbs free to swim, but he kept sliding off and I had to catch him so he wouldn’t drown again. So I was constantly getting under and above the water surface, sometimes swallowing some gross water and coughing.
I was glad when we, what seemed after ages, reached the surface. I stopped and thought for a moment. How was I going to do this? I couldn’t get Dowoon on the surface from inside the water, but I also couldn’t climb out first to then pull him up, because he was still unconscious and couldn’t swim which meant that he would drown again. We were hopeless. And besides, Dowoon would get undercooled if he would stay in the water any longer, and I was feeling way too cold too, in only my tank top. My legs also started to hurt awfully much from trying to keep us both above the water surface.
In hopelessness, I grabbed Dowoons head and pressed his forehead against mine. ‘Stay safe.’, I begged in a whisper. ‘Don’t leave me.’
And then, as if God had heart my begging, I heard footsteps on the port. I swum away from the side so I could look who it was, and I was so blessed. A policeman was walking around, probably taking a shift took look after the boats.
‘Sir!’, I yelled on top of my lungs. He turned around, searching where the sound same from, pointing his flashlight in different directions.
‘Here, in the water!’, I screamed, and I tried to wave. I swum back to the side and waved again.
The man ran up to us and looked down. ‘Take my friend out of the water, please!’, I begged. The man bend down and I gave him Dowoons cold hands so he could pull him out.
While climbing out myself, I suddenly felt an overwhelming, awful pain in my lower leg. I grunted and clutched my fists, and managed to get out of the water. I didn’t even check on my leg, but immediately turned to Dowoon. He was so motionless, his eyes closed and his lips were turned blue from the cold. I pressed my ear against his chest to check if his heart was still beating, and thank God it still was.
‘Should I preform CPR?’, I asked the policeman. He shook his head and patted me on the shoulder. ‘Your friend will be ok, we’ll call an ambulance if he doesn’t wake up in one minute. How did this happen? How long has he been unconscious?’
I suddenly felt like such an incredibly bad friend, telling the story about how he had gotten drunk and how I lost my focus on him and how he had stumbled off and fell into the water.’ ‘Then I think he might be unconscious because of the alcohol, not of the lack of oxygen. Or maybe it’s a combination. May I ask you, how old are you and your friend? He looks very young.’ I blushed heavily and mumbled: ‘He’s seventeen. I’m nineteen, sir.’ The man gave me a very strict look. ‘You know that you’re not allowed to drink under eighteen. He will get in trouble for this.’ ‘I’m very sorry, sir. I take all the blame, it was totally my fault, the waitress didn’t check his age and I didn’t look out for him well enough.’ Before any of us could say anything else, we were interrupted by coughing. ‘Dowoon!’, I shouted, and rushed towards him. He pushed himself up and looked sheepishly around. I embraced him tightly and for that moment, I never planned on letting him go ever again. Not caring about the presence of the policeman, or that Dowoon was blushing like crazy, I pushed his hair away and kissed him on the forehead. ‘Don’t ever scare me again like that.’, I whispered.
A drunk giggle escaped his lips, and he started playing with my hair. The policeman coughed, reminding us that he was still there. I turned to him. ‘I need both your names.’ ‘My name is Brian Kang and his name is Yoon Dowoon.’, I said. Dowoon hugged my arm and pressed his head into my chest, making himself feel safe. I stroked through his hair. ‘Will he be okay?’, I asked with my eyes glued to the younger. ‘I think he will.’ I quickly wiped my watery eyes and bowed slightly. ‘I can’t thank you enough for helping us, sir.’ I bowed deeper. The man smiled. ‘It’s my job, after all. By the way, you might need to take your friend’s wet clothes off. Is that sweatshirt there yours?’ He pointed at my sweatshirt and my stuff. ‘Yes.’ He stood up to get them and gave it to me. ‘I think that it’s the best to let him wear it, otherwise he’ll get undercooled.’ I nodded and took my jacket off Dowoon. A bit hesitant and shy, I also pulled his shirt off him, and quickly replaced it with the sweatshirt that was way too big for him.
‘Mr.Kang?’ ‘Yes, sir?’ ‘Now I see how much you care for your friend, I’ve decided to let the underaged drinking slip for once. It’s obvious that it really was an accident when I see you like that. But you do have a warning. If you ever let your attention slip like that again when he’s still seventeen, I won’t hesitate to punish you.’ ‘Yes sir, thank you so much.’ I bowed again, and helped Dowoon stand up.
I hissed in pain, suddenly remembering the pain in my leg. For the first time, I looked down, and my eyes grew wide. The entire leg of my jeans was soaked in blood. The fabric was ripped on the place where it hurt, revealing a big cut. I probably cut myself on a sharp rock. ‘That looks painful.’, the policeman said. ‘It might need stitches, but I advise you to wait until tomorrow and put a bandage around it now. You better get home quickly. It’s not very safe outside at times like this. Do you need a ride?’
And then suddenly, I realized something.
I didn’t even know where Dowoon lived! Where was I even taking him when we were walking on the streets? Why didn’t I tell Sungjin? Was I stupid??!
‘Sir... I don’t know where Dowoon lives. I don’t know where to take him.’ ‘Well, why don’t you ask him himself?’ I already knew that I wasn’t going to get an answer, but asked him anyways.
And as expected, he only laughed and made finger hearts. Then I decided to send my friends a message with the phone. Wonpil must’ve known where he lived, and maybe another one too.
But after ten minutes, I still didn’t have an answer.
‘What do I do now?’ ‘He needs to go somewhere. Take him to your place and bring him home tomorrow when he’s sober. I’ll drive you there, if that is okay.’ ‘Yes Sir, thank you again. I hope that our wet clothes aren’t a problem.’ ‘It’s fine.’
It was a rather awkward car ride, where I had to hold Dowoon close to me or he would try to open the doors of the car. The police wagon was an old car, and it couldn’t lock all the doors automatically while driving.
‘I’m sorry for us being so much trouble, and making your car wet and bloody.’ The man shook his head and gave me a look through the car mirror. ‘Don’t worry about it, I’m already glad that you didn’t drown or I would’ve lost my job.’
After thanking the poiliceman once more, I dragged Dowoon to my house. For once, I was actually quite glad that my parents were away.
The warmth of my house was so pleasing and comfortable that I thought that I had never been happier before to be home. ‘Dowoon, stay in the couch. I don’t want you to leave the couch before I come back, understood?’ The younger nodded with big eyes, but I wasn’t quite sure if he totally understood me. To be sure, I looked all the windows and doors, so nothing bad could happen.
I didn’t want to leave him alone for long, so I hung out my wet clothes, put dry ones on and got back with dry clothes for Dowoon the quickest I could.
He didn’t move a muscle since I left him there.
I helped him out of his wet clothes, but handed the dry boxers to him and pointed him the bathroom. ‘Go change yourself, I’m not doing that for you.’
When he came back, only wearing the oversized sweatshirt and the boxers, I had to admit that he really did look cute. Wonpil called him cute almost every single day, but now I definitely understood why.
We were lucky that I still had a spare mattress and pillow laying around somewhere, and that he could sleep on that. When I was about to turn off the lights to go to sleep, Dowoon was suddenly behind me, and backhugged me.
‘Hyung is warm...’, he mumbled. ‘I’m cold.’
I pulled him off me and put him down on the mattress with the covers over him. ‘There you go. That’s warm too. Goodnight.’ I turned off the light and stepped over the mattress to get into my own bed.
It was silent for a minute before Dowoon whined: ‘I’m still cold~’ ‘Do you need another sweater?’ I got up but Dowoon clung to my bandaged leg. He yanked at my hand and pulled me down so I was sitting on the mattress. He hugged me and laid his head down on my shoulder. And like that, he fell asleep.
I was surprised that Dowoon was suddenly so clingy. It was the alcohol, of course, but I was still surprised that drunk Dowoon was so touchy. Usually, he was the one pulling Wonpil away from him or rejecting to sleep in one bed with him.
Well, alcohol did strange things to people.
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