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You Never Walk Alone
BTS album You Never Walk Alone, inspired me to come with the title for each chapters and story. Park Chanyeol and Byun Baekhyun from EXO are the two characters that I based my story off of.
There are seven billion people in the world, millions of combinations of alleles, and yet the devil had taken the wheel and had given me the worst genes.
He also took the wheel of the man who was driving on the road under influence on that spring day. May 6, 2006, my fourteenth birthday, as well as the day my father died. It was supposed to be a happy day for my family, but it all changed in one accident.
It was a day I remember so clearly, I don’t want it but the pain and nightmares are resurfacing like dirty sea foam bubbling in the ocean. I remember sitting in the back seat, as the car engine humming steadily. As I was gazing out of the window, I saw a thick pine tree holding two birds. One of the birds lifts back its neck, spreading its beak wide, and the other smaller bird craned in the opened beak. The tiny bird was feasting on a tiny pink worm. It was just a blur, as the car sped past the birds in their natural habitat. A sudden gust of wind and a loud honk rung my ears. The car suddenly skidded to an abrupt stop, my body accelerated forward as the seatbelt pulled back, digging into my chest and crushing my chest bone. I remember yelling “Mom! Dad!”, and my dad made a sharp turn to the right, seconds before the approaching car collided into ours. It was a fatal turn, that killed him, but he saved mom and me.
I remember feeling the car being compressed, as the other car flipped ours. The glass windows shattered.
I remember seeing the sharp crystals floating in the air, while I laid helplessly on my side of the door.
I remember reaching out of the broken window, gripping onto the green grass on the side of the road, holding onto my breath of life.
I remember looking up, seeing the three birds standing on the tiny branch, the two outside birds leaning their heads into the center of the little bird in the middle, forming a heart. I coughed out into a tiny smile, thinking it would be the last sight before I blacked out.
“Steady... Deep breaths Mr. Park,” Dr. Kim instructs as he presses the cold silver stethoscope onto my back.
I suck in the air in, filling my belly and lungs, and slowly inflate my lungs balloons out of my mouth and nose, while counting to three each time the oxygen circulates through my body. In and out. In and out, I can do this, I think, until air abruptly chokes my throat. I clasp my hands over my mouth, curl into a fetus position as the coughing rips my throat and lungs. The more I try to hold in the cough, the more the blood forces itself out of my mouth, staining the white sheet.
“Don’t hold it in! Just let yourself cough!” Dr. Kim says. I let my hands fall off my mouth, letting the blood drip out. When the coughing finally subsides, the doctor gives me a white cloth. I use the fabric to wipe the remaining blood off my face and hands.
“Thank you doctor,” I mumble, handing him back the stained cloth.
“You’re welcome, Mr. Park. Make sure to let yourself cough next time you experience another episode like this.”
I timidly nod, “I will.”
Suddenly, my mom burst through the door, crying out.
She is panicking, “Chan! Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m okay Ma.” I hold her hands, calming me her down. I buff up my chest and flex my arms, “See Ma, I’m still your strong boy. Look at these guns!!” I grin.
She pulls me into an embrace, “Oh Chan, my silly boy.” She snuggles into my neck. I feel wet drops dripping on the side of neck, wetting my shirt. “Chan, I wish I could take away all your pain away. And sometimes, I wish you could stop hiding your pain that you endured behind that smile. Baby, Ma is here, you don’t have to fake it. It is okay to cry Chan.” My mom chokes a cry, gripping my shirt tighter than before.
I try to hold back the tears behind my eyes, but fail as glass beads slowly slide down my cheeks, “Ma, I’m okay really. You don’t need to worry. I’m not going to die Ma.” I say, while stroking her soft black hair.
“Chan!” Mom wails, tightening her embrace, holding onto my life.
“Dr. Kim, please tell me much time do I have left?” I ask softly.
“Mr. Park without surgery you would have about three months, but if the surgery success, you can enjoy your life for another three years.” He replies. “But let me tell you Mr. Park, your chances of operation survival is about ten percent.”
“I will take that ten percent chance doctor. When can we schedule a procedure?”
“The earliest date open right now is June 3, which is in a month.”
“Yes Dr. Kim, we will take that date”
“Very well” he turns to my mother. “Ms. Park we will do our best. I really believe that this operation will be a success.” the doctor smiles as he quickly typed my name in a time slot.
“Thank you Dr. Kim, I trust you.”
I never liked the antiseptic smell of hospitals. It reeks of mortality. It reminds me of my loneliness and disease. This place that is filled with false hope. A shrine that modern believers worship. They offer thousands of dollars to their doctors who are their gods and spirits, believing and hoping that they will get to live a little longer. A battle field that’s rotting with death bodies, yet me and mom, like the many others who come here every month to get treated, hear disappointing news with every visit.
The chilly sensation from the cold metal stethoscope scrawls around my chest as the doctor places it on my heart. Ba bump, ba bump, ba bump. My heart beats steadily. I let out a sigh of relief.
“How is he Dr. Lee?” my mom asks looking at me worriedly.
“Mr. Byun’s heart is trying.” He sighs heavily. “He is doing his best, but the condition is just getting worse. I can hear that extra beat fainting in the background.” Dr. Lee shakes his head, letting out a heavy sigh.
“No, my Baek is strong. Are you sure Dr. Lee?” she panics. I quickly hold her hand, trying to calm her down.
“Mom, it is okay. I’m okay,” I mumble. I try to keep a straight face, hiding my worries and disappointment.
About four years ago, I remember waking up in this same hospital, and receiving news about my father’s death from the car accident. My mom was devastated from the news, she was a walking, lifeless corpse, and meanwhile I was trying to bury the bloody memories into the depths of my brain. I tried to continue my life as normal as possible, however the peace I would acquire would always be the calm before a storm that would always whirl me back to hell whence I came.
A few months after the accident, I came back to the hospital. At the brink of death due to a heart attack, but miraculously I was able to breathe again, however I was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia. My routine from that day on was completely scrambled with taking medicine and doctor appointments. A heart monitor device was planted on top of my chest. I call it my life saver, because it will alarm me when my heart breaks out into abnormalities.
As a student at an all-boys high school, it hurts my pride to be sitting out on the bench while watching the other boys play. I was once on the varsity basketball before my heart started to fail me. I have snuck into the vacant gym after school many times, just so I could bounce a red ball again. The empty space echoes with loud thumps as I dribble on the court, and with a knife-like swish, I cut the air as I swing the basketball into the white hoop. But like always, nothing good lasts for me, because right after my victory for making a basket, my heart squeezed in a painful rhythm that almost cost my life. From that day on, physical activities were off limits. What I thought was happiness, was actually a sharp spear that could end my life at any time. I later began to isolate myself from my friends, and even my mom. Eventually, everyone drifted away so far that I could not reach for them again. I trapped myself in my closed bedroom, and the school rooftop at lunch. I wished to float freely like the endless drifting clouds in the light blue sky. I wished the wind would sweep me away with them, but I could not do it.
“Ms. Byun, the only way to save Baek is a new heart.” Dr. Lee said.
And every day I wait for the good news, a promise of a new heart, but everything is just empty hope.
“I’m Chan, what are you doing up here?”
I reach out for a handshake.
He slaps my hand away, rolls his eyes, and scoffs,
“Mind your own business sasquatch.”
He crosses his arms over his chest,
“You know curiosity killed the cat.”
I crack out a small laugh,
“Yeah, but I’m not a cat, midget.”
“Hey, I’m not a midget!”
“Your height says otherwise.”
“No, my name is Baek. Baek Byun.”
Baek Byun is his name. “Baek,” I say
tasting the sound of his name as it leaves my mouth.
“Baek, can I be your friend?”
February 14, 2010
The bloody petals cry from the dark sky,
Drowning me into despair as I stand
Among the ordinary students whom
Also drown themselves in deep depression.
A mental warfare that humanity will not
Prevail but instead they fall back to where they
I edge to the corner of the school rooftop,
where I plan to be free once again.
Invisible hands weave into my hair,
blinding my vision from the concrete floor.
Where my body will lay,
a blank canvas that will soon be
covered with red paint splattered around me.
My silver hair will dye itself red,
matching the color that will mark my
Inhaling the cool morning air, I count in my head
one, two, thr-
A warm sensation burns on my shoulder,
I turn around meeting two dark brown eyes,
full with purity and innocence.
“Hey, are you okay?”
What a strange name, he asks me for my name,
what an annoying person, full of life and goodness.
I quickly wave him off,
I hope he stops talking to me
“Midget” he said.
Oh no, he did not just call me short.
I told him my name,
“Baek” his deep voice resonates in my heart,
I heat up, my heart accelerates to life.
“Baek, can I be your friend?”
It is too risky.
Everyone will leave you in the end.
Nothing lasts forever.
What's left to lose, I thought
February 14, 2010
Today is my birthday.
Today is also my dad’s death anniversary.
But unlike the past years,
I’m not alone.
I have Chan.
Last month, Chan and I became friends,
Last week, Chan and I became best friends,
Maybe even more...
We are swinging beside each other,
competing to see who can swing the highest.
We are frozen in time,
as we swing high, letting
our hands touch the clouds
and then time resume again when we calm
to a stop.
As the sun says, “Good night,”
an empty feeling surface on my chest,
“Stay with me,” I blurt out,
“Please,” I continue holding onto his blue shirt.
“What’s wrong Baek?”
Chan eyebrows crinkle into a frown.
“It’s my birthday,
I want to spend the last few hours with you.”
He envelops me into a warm hug,
“Happy birthday Baek.”
The stars come out of his eyes,
and without any notice,
soft lips press
on my forehead,
on my lips.
May 6, 2010
Baek’s 18 Birthday
Today marks the beginning to an unrequited love story,
where two boys are desperately in love,
making unforgettable memories where death can
never tear them apart.
Today marks the end of Baek’s cries
begging for a new heart.
Today marks my promise I made to him,
“Baek, I promise you will never walk alone.”
We intertwine our pinkies,
sealing our promise as our thumbs kiss.
May 6, 2010
Baek’s 18th Birthday
The crimson red blood inks the white handkerchief, coughing out the cancer inside my lungs.
Kneeling upon the cold bathroom floor, I gaze at
my reflection on the crystal marbles.
Realizing that I’m still alive,
thanking the gods for this wonderful gift.
I rest myself on the hard surface,
facing the ceiling I think about how close I was
to expose my sickness to Baek.
We were chasing butterflies and sakura petals,
until my windpipe had suddenly closed.
I was wheezing, I taking in sharp air,
Baek asked if I was okay.
“Yeah, I just have a mild asthma attack.
Don’t worry, I’ll go get my inhaler.
Just wait for me on the rooftop.”
to protect him,
to protect his precious smile that I adore.
It is not suffering, if
you are happy.
It is not painful, if
my midget is safe and alive.
May 13, 2010
The faded lines mark perfect
slices on my milky wrist.
They are my stigma that were imprinted
reminding me of my calamity.
I remember the feeling of satisfaction,
as the cold razor licks my arm
the baby hairs on my back raise with excitement.
Then the razer bites into my skin, the warm
red liquid flows out of the opening mouth.
It was my routine to give myself one mark on
every birthday as a gift. But this year,
I receive a kiss from Chan instead.
Sometimes I itch to take on the sharp object again, but Chan caught me before I did.
I remember those big fat tears rain down his face
when he first saw my marks.
I told him that I was okay, and that I would stop.
I remember him taking my arm, leaving butterfly kisses on the white scars, and whispering, “I love you,”
Over and over.
I remember going home that day,
throwing that cold razor away.
May 19, 2010
|Chan & Baek|
I had my first kiss with a midget name Baek...
...while I had my first kiss with a giant name Chan.
I don’t know why I kissed him...
...why did I kiss him back?
But somehow I enjoyed it...
...I liked it,
It was love at first sight...
...He wanted to my friend
A boy with silver hair that shines bright like the moon...
...a boy with dark chocolate eyes that twinkle bright like the stars
An angel that fell from heaven...
...an angel that walks among humankind
He is the blue sky full of innocent white clouds...
...he is the streetlight that leads me home.
He is my little midget...
...he is my big friendly giant.
I love you Baek.
I love you Chan.
“I close my eyes and I’m still standing here
I am lost between the desert and the sea
the silky sand runs between my toes,
waves hitting the sea shore
dragging the sediment along with them.” (“Lost”-BTS)
“How are feeling Baek?” I brush his fringes
away from his eyes. I cup his cheeks,
leaning in and peck his lips.
He squirms back surprised by my sudden action.
“Chan, don’t do that. It’s bad for my heart!”
I pinch his cute marshmallow cheeks,
“Awee, do I make your heart race?”
I tease, laughing at his cute little angry pout.
“Chan, you know I have a bad heart,” he frowns.
I drop my smile,
Wrapping my arms around him.
I put my chin on his head.
“You don’t have a bad heart Baek.
How could you, if it beats to keep you alive?”
May 21, 2010
“Lost my way.
There are so many directions and paths,
that I could have picked.
Lost my way
I wander around the endless beach, I
haven’t found my right path that
will promise a good life
for you and me.” (“Lost”-BTS)
I once thought happiness, was about
the rich, the healthy, the popular.
But once you full of desperation,
little moments like this,
a simple stroll on the beach with you
is my eternal happiness.
I have found my way.
May 23, 2010
The snow is melting away leaving the green grass behind, and
yellow baby dandelions cover the new field, making
a yellow river.
In the midst of the golden field,
the delicate white dandelions,
are maturing and are ready to be blown away, spreading
Admiring the scenery, Chan crouches down
eyeing the tiny snowy flower.
With one puff of air,
he blows the fuzzy seeds away.
“The flower feels pain too,” he said.
May 25, 2010
Turning the faucet, I let the running water
drown out my coughing.
Baek still doesn't know about my lung cancer,
and I plan to keep it that way.
Not today, I will
not die today. If we are together, we will survive.
Against all odds, Baek we will make history.
Just eight more days, then the doctors will cure my sickness.
I will be at your side healthier,
but there is a chance that I will be in your sky.
But not today, we are together.
We have so many unfinished dates that I promised
to take you on.
Trust me, when I say you will never walk alone.
Because even through sickness I will hold you tight,
pulling you back to my arms, because that's where you belong.
Because I am still alive.
May 26, 2010
Mama, the mother earth.
I don't know why you hate me so much.
You gifted me the clean sky and
spring day, but now you are
punishing me with a storm.
The yellow lightning strikes my once to be blue sky.
The booming thunders turn my stomach
My heart clenched in pain,
I try to hold it in, to not let Chan see.
The ringing sounds buzz in my head,
white noise fills my ears.
I see Chan’s lips moving as he speaks while focusing
on the road.
I can't hear anything,
why did Chan make that scary face?
May 28, 2010
I wish I was faster, so that I could dodge that car.
I wish I was faster, so that Baek wouldn't close his eyes.
I wish I was faster, so that I don't have to lay here on the cold dirt.
I wish I was faster, so that we could both survive.
May 28, 2010
“I want to breathe, I hate this night
I want to wake up, I hate this dream
I’m trapped inside of myself and I’m dead
Don’t wanna be lonely
Why is it so dark where you’re not here
It’s dangerous how wrecked I am
save me because I can’t get a grip on myself.
Listen to my heartbeat
it calls to you
Because within this pitch black darkness
you are shining so brightly
Give me your hand.
I knew that your salvation
was a part of my life
and the only helping hand
that would embrace my pain
You’re the best of me, you’re the only thing I have.
Please raise your voice so that I can laugh again.
Thank you for letting me be me
for helping me fly
for giving me wings
for straightening me out
for waking me from being suffocated
for waking me from
the dream which I was living in.
When I think of you the sun comes out,
the rainbow after a storm appears when I feel you.” (“Save Me- BTS)
Thousands of fireworks bursting in my heart,
when I kiss you.
May 29, 2010
Dear Kamisama my god,
Please save him.
May 29, 2010
I never wish for anything big,
I never beg,
I never pray to anyone above us.
But desperation has taken its toll,
and I will do anything to see Baek open
his eyes again.
“He needs a new heart now!”
Dr. Lee says, yelling at the other doctors.
It is now or never
I tap on Dr. Lee shoulder,
“I can give him mine.”
May 29, 2010
Operation lights above like heaven’s gate,
that I’m about to enter.
Somehow, I don’t feel scared anymore,
knowing my heart will be with Baek forever.
Knowing that I will be able to save him.
I tilt my head over to Baek, whom is
lying unconscious on the bed next to me.
He is as beautiful as I saw him on the first day,
as the cherry blossoms shower him with the
pink petals. His soft silver hair looks like
the white fuzzy dandelion I blew on the spring day.
Carefully, I knit our fingers together,
keeping my promise to him.
“Baek, you will never walk alone.”
May 30, 2010
Standing in the world of nothingness,
I pray to see Baek again,
I wish to know if my midget has opened his
I don’t wish to go to heaven.
Even in my invisible self,
I wish to be by my lover’s side.
Send me to hell if you have to,
just let me see his clean irises again.
June 1, 2010
The soft rain hitting the window lightly,
as Baek is still in a deep sleep.
I watch him as his chest slowly
rises up and down in a peace.
The operation was a success, and
I’m now beside him waiting for
Baek to wake up.
God gave me one last chance.
But until Baek sees the sun again,
I will remain by his side,
protecting him from his nightmares.
Even though, I’m just a translucent ghost,
as long I’m with Baek,
I am more than alive.
Jun 2, 2010
“The dawn right before the sun rises is the darkest
even in the far future,
I will never forget you.
we’ve been waiting for
becomes yesterday at some point
tomorrow becomes today,
today becomes yesterday,
tomorrow becomes yesterday and
is behind me.
I’m just wishing
When the dark night passes,
a bright morning will come
when tomorrow comes, the bright light will shine so don’t worry” (“Tomorrow”-BTS)
Baek. Tomorrow you will be healthy,
you will be able run along with your old friends.
Keep chasing your dream, never stop.
You told me once, that you
want to be a good teacher
that would heals those lost students.
I believe you can do it.
I have to leave tomorrow,
But before I go
I want to say,
“I love you my midget.”
June 3, 2010
As the rays of sunlight streak through the window,
I flutter my eyes open.
A vacant feeling washes over my heart,
like I’ve lost someone important.
I don’t know why I am crying,
but the tears won’t stop dripping.
“Chan, where are you?”
I call out for him. He promised
to never leave me alone.
“Chan, where are you?”
I call out a little louder this time.
The door abruptly slides open,
The man in the white coat walks in,
it is Dr. Lee,
“Welcome back, Mr.Byun, it seems like the surgery went well.”
“A man claiming to be a big friendly giant,
offered his heart.
What a great man he was.
He was in his last stage of lung cancer,
he was scheduled to get his surgery yesterday,
Dr. Kim promised him that he would come out alive
when walking out of the room.
he gave his life to you instead.”
The words came out of his mouth
lies, those are all lies.
Chan would never leave me behind.
“Oh right, before I forgot the young man
who saved your life gave you this.”
he hands me the folded paper.
I carefully take the letter, and
open it with care.
Tearing up at Chan’s words,
I clutch his last word close to my heart.
June 4, 2010
The first time I saw you
I thought you were an angel that was gifted from the gods,
That you had come to save me from my loneliness.
I was dying, Baek, my lung cancer was in its
Last stage. I only had three more months, but those three months
Would have been meaningless if I continued to live the way I had been living.
But with you, those three weeks,
the 21 days I spent with you were worth it.
So Baek, I regret nothing.
You already own my heart,
so please take care of it.
Even though, I’m not there by you right now,
I am sorry for leaving you alone.
You probably hate me now, but please
continue to smile like how you would when we spent time
Your smile gives me life, a treasure I cherish so much.
Baek keep chasing for what you want,
because I will always be there to support you.
Baek, I’m the butterfly in your garden, sitting on the dandelions. I’m the butterfly that flutters in
the summer sky.
My little midget, I love you,
I love you, I can’t tell you enough.
I love you.
Your big friendly giant,
In the yellow river of dandelions
there is a gray tombstone,
and next to it is a red butterfly,
Its fiery wings outshine the spring daylight,
leading up the gray mount.
I trace the letters that were carved deep
In the stone.
Born Nov.27, 1992
Died May 30, 2010
You Never Walk Alone
May 6, 2011
Truc L is currently a 10th grader who studies at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. While committing to working on school assignments and projects, Truc has managed to fall in love with a Korean pop band, BTS. Their recent album You Never Walk Alone is a world class album that is filled with meaningful songs that inspired Truc to write this short story. She also used some of lyrics that are directly from the title song showing connection to song the story. Chan and Baek are characters based on two Korean idols from the band EXO. Their names are Park Chanyeol and Byun Baekhyun. It is not confirmed that the two are dating, but there were moments that suggest otherwise. She fell in love with this couple and decided to write her own little fiction about ChanBaek. Truc hopes to convey her love for her ship Chanbaek and BTS’s recent album You Never Walk Alone.
I want to thank the BTS members (Kim Namjoon, Kim Seokjin, Min Yoongi, Jung Hoseok, Park Jimin, Kim Taehyun, Jeon Jungkook) for producing this legendary album You Never Walk Alone. Your lyrics are moving and they reflect the struggles that I experience today. Park Chanyeol and Byun Baekhyun, thank you so much for treating each other so well, and for all the lovely moments. You guys are the reason why this story exists. Finally, I am grateful for my supportive friend Bunmi Oni for being my editor and my English teacher Ms.Lindenberg for helping become a better writer and finding my passion.