Joonmyun always had a thing for dolls, preferably china and porcelain made ones.
Little Joonmyun is only six, his tiny eyes peeking through the frame of his glasses and his pajamas a little shorter now that he’s growing tall. His cheeks are fat despite his lanky body and his hair long enough to cover his eyebrows. He’s always had a thing for dolls, preferably china and porcelain made ones. He liked playing with their hairs, brushing it just like how a little girl would with their countless number of Barbie dolls. Clothes in different styles and colors – he has them all stacked at the corner of his bedroom.
This is how he likes to waste his own spare time. He stands at the corner of their house library, grazing his finger tips along the dusty glass windows of his mother’s cabinet full of her own collection of dolls. He opens the glass doors slowly, looking around just to check if someone’s watching. Maybe his nannies are off to do errands again. Maybe they’re off to serve his parents while he’s supposed to be in bed. When he takes one of the porcelain dolls in his hand, his heart flutters and he feels a sense of happiness tingling down his stomach.
Joonmyun rocks himself back and forth in his bed just after he steals his mother’s doll, lips stretched into a grin as he grips the small piece of porcelain in his fingertips. The doll has huge eyes, beautiful and serene and yet something about them scares Joonmyun, but nevertheless he smiles and pokes the eyes just like a little curious kid. Maybe it’s not normal, maybe it’s weird to poke eyes of nonexistent dolls but Joonmyun does it anyway, continuously pressing the tips of his fingertips down the eyeballs of the doll
He wonders why they don’t fight back; he continuously jabs his fingers down their body frames, touching it like a man would with a woman. He doesn’t know that for sure, but curiosity may just be at the corner of his mind. Maybe the television does wonder to little children and they should always be supervised.
Time passes by quickly just like any other day and Joonmyun spends the rest of his night tucked under his blue comforter, lips mouthing words directed towards the doll although it still doesn’t speak back. He tilts his head towards the other side, innocently watching as the doll’s head break under the tight pressure of his palms. He laughs when it falls off in his chest, wondering if his mother is going to be mad once again for the nth time he broke another expensive doll.
Little Joonmyun spends his childhood just like this, with little dolls as his friends and no one to actually talk to. He breaks them after a day or two, once he gets tired of them not talking back or answering his pleas of company.
He’s nine when he starts hearing his parents quarrel along the wide halls of their mansion. He hears glasses break and yells of his mother for help but he stares at the white walls of his bedroom, stuck like glue in his comforter and closes his eyes. He hopes it stops – maybe for a while or two. As long as the screaming stops, it’s going to be fine. It’s been going for almost months now, his parents coming home from work and his father yelling at him to go back to his room. It’s a habit; he listens just like the little boy he is and leaves even with his mother’s pleas. But this is just like every other night, so he closes his eyes once again and tries not to listen. He tucks himself under his pillow and mutters series of “please stop” but nobody hears him.
And this night is quite different. A gunshot is fired and in just a blink, the woman he calls as his mother is gone.
Joonmyun only stares unmoving at the white walls of his bedroom until the police came to get him.
He’s twelve when he stops all the treatments for trauma and other things he never had the guts to ask about. They said something is wrong with him, but he contradicts them anyway and he’s mastered the art of pretending. He’s been responding well with his medicines and he no longer has nightmares of gunshots – the images of his mother’s suicide long gone in his mind. His father is still the same, except he drinks more often and indulges himself at work. He no longer calls Joonmyun for dinner time and he’s fine with it, really. He eats with his nannies in silence and purges them in his bathroom afterwards; the lingering taste of vomit is so familiar that he’s not bothered by it anymore. He’s still lanky except he grew quite taller but he’s still short compared to the rest of the boys in his age. He wouldn’t know anyway; being stuck in the house pretty much makes you ignorant of the rest of the world.
His room remodeled to everything white because the doctor said it’s going to be more peaceful, more serene and relaxing. Dolls are still his friends and he spends quite a fortune collecting them. He still talks to them under his newly changed bed sheets from pretty blue ones to just whites. This is his only connection with his mother, he thinks, and once again he breaks them under his fingertips.
Sometimes he wishes to achieve that serenity only the walls give him.
He’s fourteen when his father allows him to actually go to a real school instead of being home schooled. It became boring for quite a while with only his teacher teaching him everything he needed to know – Math, Sciences and English, he almost know all the things he needed to pass high school with flying colors as a young kid. He has a brilliant mind and his teachers call him a genius – he doesn’t deny it because it is true and it’s going to be a waste to just spend time alone in the house and he wants to go out there to experience the world. His nannies said it’s a good place – he won’t be scared and he will have fun. They pat him in his head with encouraging smiles and he’s convinced nothing’s bad at trying. He will, anyway, go and face reality once he gets older.
So his father calls up the nearest private school for him, fixing everything for Joonmyun just to give him a chance to experience a normal life.
Joonmyun always thought he is different and maybe everyone also thinks the same of him. He’s different because he’s good looking, his pearly white teeth shining as he throws a smile at everyone. His skin is milky white and flaw free and Joonmyun feels superior with the rest of the school. Intelligence, power and looks – he has them all and he’s glad about it once he realized their importance.
He makes friends easily because he acted how friends are supposed to be in the books that he read, pleasing everyone with his words and actions. Girls swoon whenever he smiles and he laughs to himself sometimes, wondering why they’re not as pretty as the dolls in his bedroom. He wonders why they have tiny eyes and how unattractive they are despite him also having the same eyes. They all think Joonmyun’s a perfect guy but he shrugs it off, smiling politely because that’s how it’s supposed to be isn’t it? You should be humble to secretly gain control of everyone else’s thoughts of you.
They all think Joonmyun’s just like the rest, maybe standing out a lot sometimes, but still a normal guy. Sometimes they convince Joonmyun that he is just ordinary, but when he locks himself in his room after dinner to talk to his dolls he convinces himself that he’s not otherwise.
Sixteen is the age that he meets Lu Han. Lu Han is an exchange student from China and he has a really pretty face, huge eyes and skin as white as Joonmyun’s. His English is pretty good, so Joonmyun was assigned to help the older boy in his stay on campus. He’s not just a skinny boy and he’s pretty fit, his arms are toned and thighs fitting his jeans perfectly. He reminds Joonmyun of a perfect model of a male Chinese doll whenever he smiles, his eyes creasing and teeth showing. Sometimes Joonmyun forgets how to breathe in his presence.
“My name is Lu Han!” the boy says and Joonmyun falters a bit because of his voice and stammers an “I’m Joonmyun. Kim Joonmyun.” He smiles and his eyes turn like crescents, wrinkles showing at the corners and Joonmyun doesn’t fight the urge to smile back because Lu Han is adorable.
Lu Han is nice, he finds out after a while, maybe a bit nicer to him than the rest of the school and Joonmyun likes it. He likes it when Lu Han talks, stumbling around with his Korean and sometimes teaching Joonmyun short Chinese phrases. His laugh is infectious in fact and Joonmyun hasn’t smiled like this for a long while or maybe never; it’s one that’s genuine and true. Behind all his facades, maybe Lu Han’s just the guy that actually made him feel real and normal.
Maybe he is normal.
They pretty much get along well after a few months, with Lu Han’s conversational English and sometimes an outbreak of Korean words. Joonmyun watches from the corner of his eyes as Lu Han moves his lips and talks, the scar he found after a while of observing lying there innocently and Joonmyun stumbles on not finding it attractive.
Sometimes the boy falls asleep in class and he nudges him at the side like the good student he is, reminding Lu Han in hushed whispers to listen but he goes back to slumber just like always. Joonmyun laughs and stops paying attention to classes he already know, just watching as Lu Han’s breath falter at each sigh.
“You,” Lu Han says to him Korean one day at lunch, his lips stretching at the corners and lips curving with a smile after Joonmyun hands him a copy of today’s notes. “Thank you, Joonmyun.” Joonmyun beams at the slight brush of hands and feels his heart leap out of his chest. It’s beating like a love sick boy and Joonmyun doesn’t have a plan to stop it.
They came to the point where formalities don’t matter anymore; one, Lu Han doesn’t like it because it’s too awkward and two, Joonmyun agrees because he likes hearing his name pass through Lu Han’s tiny little lips without formalities. It’s sexy and attractive, Joonmyun admits, and most of the time he makes up conversations in his head wherein Lu Han’s going to end up whining his name.
They go out of school and sometimes skip classes because of Lu Han’s continuous pleas to go to the city and Joonmyun reminds him that it’s wrong but goes anyway. He drives the car that his driver’s supposed to use and Lu Han sits quietly at the passenger seat, seat belts untouched as Joonmyun speeds up towards wherever Lu Han wishes to go.
Joonmyun wonders if he’s in love whenever he lies in his bed at night. He doesn’t talk to his dolls anymore, his mind just clouded of thoughts of Lu Han and how his lips would feel against his.
For the first time in his life Joonmyun brings home a friend and of course it’s Lu Han, giddily jumping at everything he sees in Joonmyun’s mansion. He calls it wonderland because of his gigantic garden and series of rooms, laughing to himself as he opens the fridge in the kitchen and guffaws at all the cupboards full of ingredients. “You are rich,” Lu Han states with his jaw dropped and his mouth hanging open, and it’s the truth. Joonmyun’s family has always been rich, from his ancestors and grandfathers and it continues on. It’s the reason he grew up alone in this house, with nannies to attend to him and teachers going in and out to tutor him.
“No, my father’s the rich one,” he denies and laughs. He’s quite surprised with himself to be honest. Laughing is one thing he always had to fake and he forcefully produces. It’s funny how a tiny action of Lu Han’s is making him like this all of a sudden.
“But you’re going to inherit it anyway,” Lu Han says through popcorns and crosses his legs across the couch, Joonmyun just watching carefully as Lu Han chews. They just watch football and Lu Han mumbling how stupid one person is on the team, and that he should just play it and they’ll probably end up in the Olympics. Joonmyun laughs but Lu Han’s serious, so he just nods as he watches a pout form in the other’s lips.
“Can I see your room?” Lu Han asks after another batch of snacks is served in their living room and Joonmyun stares at him surprised. “I’m curious,” he admits and Joonmyun tilts his head to the side wondering.
“Um,” Joonmyun starts, hands fumbling against each other and he forces a smile to come out. Maybe nothing’s bad is going to happen at all and he ignores the uneasiness belting in his stomach as he guides the innocent Lu Han down the corridors of their house.
“Thanks,” he says and pucks his lips cutely at Joonmyun who tries to shrug Lu Han’s arms around his shoulder.
When Joonmyun opens his door for Lu Han to enter, he watches as Lu Han silently observes the plain room in front of them. The walls are still white, nothing attached on them and just his white bed at the middle. The pillows are covered with silver linings and Joonmyun’s white blanket properly fixed over the bed sheets. The side tables are plain black and on the left, there are books and a lamp on the right. There’s a study table at the corner and there’s a leather black reclining chair at the side of the bed.
“Your room is so neat,” Lu Han says as he turns around, lips curving up and there’s a change in his eyes as he speaks. Joonmyun walks closer and his footsteps echo across the room, eyes concentrated on the way Lu Han’s smile change into something else.
It’s only a matter of seconds before Joonmyun finds himself under Lu Han’s grip, both of them rummaging hands against each other’s as they fall off the bed with their lips locked. Lu Han’s lips tastes like strawberries, Joonmyun thinks, and leaves his eyes open the entire time as Lu Han kisses him. He knows it’s getting darker outside even if his dim curtains cover the window even if he should be focusing on Lu Han’s lips, the way he grips Joonmyun’s hair and he moans at their inappropriate touches.
Lu Han only pushes his tongue back against Joonmyun’s, making a disgruntled sound as Joonmyun plays with his own and gets their tongues tangled together. Lu Han tilts his head to kiss Joonmyun better, his hips locking together and moving in synchrony with Joonmyun’s.
The way Lu Han shivers against Joonmyun’s palm running along the back of his uniform is probably going to be another thing that Joonmyun likes about Lu Han.
It’s become an unhealthy habit for Joonmyun and Lu Han to come home together after class to finish off whatever they’ve started. Joonmyun is lucky nobody’s in the house because they’re probably at the garden fixing the plants at this hour, and they’ve made sure to always lock the door in time.
Lu Han is experienced when it comes to things and Joonmyun still writhes and shivers under his touches, his teeth bared against his lips and it makes a mark deeper than Lu Han’s bites. But he learns easily on how things work because Lu Han is amazing and he wants to be the best thing he’ll ever have. They just like it slow, with Lu Han pressing kisses against his delicate white skin and Joonmyun sucking on Lu Han’s neck gently without making bruises.
Joonmyun likes it when Lu Han makes that face whenever his cock slides inside him, moaning his name in between those pretty lips and Joonmyun makes sure to just go slow, because it’s painful and Lu Han likes it that way. “It’s romantic,” Lu Han used to say to him and he fumbles with Lu Han’s hair and promises to keep it that way. He also likes the way Lu Han grips his hair and tugs it harshly, laughing together sometimes in between kisses because this is just crazy. There’s no right or wrong in pleasing each other, as long they laugh and cuddle together after and whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears.
Joonmyun smiles as he watches Lu Han’s chest go up and down in silence after and he brings his blanket a little higher for them. He wraps his arms around Lu Han’s waist and pulls him closer, pressing a small kiss on the older boy’s neck before closing his eyes.
Lu Han is just like one of those porcelain dolls that he liked, except he’s responding to Joonmyun’s touches and is giving him company.
“Have you been taking your medicines lately?” his father asks him over dinner, eyeing him as he takes a sip of his red wine.
“I stopped. I don’t need them anymore,” Joonmyun answers with his lips curving into a smile. “It’s over and it’s just going to be a secret just like always.”
“Just like always,” his father repeats, but something in Joonmyun’s smile worries him a bit.
Lu Han is awfully quiet this day, his lips unmoving and just silently stares at Joonmyun who doesn’t notice anything until they got to his house. They still like watching movies, except Joonmyun bought his own set to put in his room and bought a couch just for the two of them. They cuddle together at the white couch, clean and full of feather pillows that Lu Han loved. He’s surprisingly touchy today too, preferring to hold Joonmyun in his arms whenever it’s possible.
“I’m leaving,” Lu Han whispers as he pulls Joonmyun closer, face buried in his neck.
“You’re leaving?” Joonmyun snaps his head back to look at Lu Han, eyes darting everywhere and his palm tightens under Lu Han’s. “You’re leaving me?”
Lu Han looks at him with sorry eyes, blinking as if he’s going to shed tears in just a while. “My stay is almost over. I have to go back to China. Don’t you remember?” he stammers and Joonmyun only gazes expressionless. He sniffs and inhales in order to gain control of himself before he starts sobbing against Joonmyun’s chest.
“I don’t want to leave.”
“If you love me you’re not going to leave.”
Joonmyun doesn’t remember how or when but he ended up with the vase in his room in his palms, tapping his foot against his hardwood floor as he whistles an unfamiliar melody. He doesn’t know why but his palms are sweaty against the vase from his table, staring at the white walls just like nothing’s wrong.
He doesn’t remember why he’s waiting for Lu Han to come out of the bathroom in the middle of the night, holding the piece of ceramic and hiding at the darkness of his room. But unlike any other circumstances, he’s smiling for unknown reasons. He’s smiling because there is a great idea in his mind which is going to make Lu Han stay.
So he waits until Lu Han comes out of the bathroom, humming their favorite song and clad in Joonmyun’s favorite shirt. He shrieks when Joonmyun hits his head with the hard piece of art and it breaks as he falls against the floor with a loud thud. He’s unconscious and his head is bleeding, leaving trails of blood in Joonmyun’s floor and broken shards of ceramics all over the place.
Joonmyun laughs albeit hysterically, watching as Lu Han drowns himself in his own pool of blood and his life slowly draining out of him.
He rocks himself again back and forth just like how he did as a child, eyes darting around the room as if he’s suspicious of the walls judging him. He stares at the dead body by his side covered in blood stains, holding him in his arms just like a porcelain doll. He pokes his cheeks continuously and sometimes kisses him to show his love, but the lifeless body doesn't shiver against his touches anymore and neither laughs with his crinkling eyes.
Joonmyun loved Lu Han. Maybe just a little too much and selfish, but he loves him just like how he did with those porcelain dolls. His dolls don’t reciprocate his touches, don’t talk and breathe unlike Lu Han. But if he’s leaving his side and won’t give him the company he needs, he might as well just be a lifeless doll.
Just like the rest of the dolls, Joonmyun pokes Lu Han’s closed eyes to which he doesn’t respond to. He says I love you but Lu Han doesn’t answer so he laughs. He laughs like a crazy maniac and snaps Lu Han’s neck just like how he did with hundreds of dolls before.
“You’re just like the rest of them.”