His chest heaved as he climbed the final stairs to your floor. He was desperate; you were the only one that he could turn to. His feet dragged against the floor as he slowly stepped in front of your door. He brought his hand with his dwindling strength up to the wooden door and knocked. He tried to catch his breath but somehow he couldn’t. All he could do was hope that you were as kind as he remembered you. You opened the door with a smile on your face.
“Help me please, __________” Dongwoon said as he leaned against the door frame crossing one arm against his ribs. You could see that he was unsteadying, badly beaten up and that he needed help, but you had no idea who this man was. As soon as you looked back up at him after surveying the damage, he fell forward. Out of instinct you caught him and you both gently collapsed to the ground of your apartment. His head cradled in your palm as you gently moved him off of you. Once you got out from under his body you looped your arms around his and pulled him to the bed of your small apartment.
You moved him gently to the bed trying not to create any more injuries than he already had.
Moving some of your things from the bed to make room for his tall, muscular body, you watched him wondering what you should do. His lifeless body lay there on your bed waiting for you to help. You shuffled to the bathroom and grabbed the first aid and some extra towels and things to clean the stranger up with. You gently walked over and kneeled next to the bed. You placed the supplies on the floor, spreading them out so that you could see everything that you had. You knew you had to help him but you didn’t know how much you could do with your little. Bunching up his wrinkled, torn, blood covered shirt and moved his arms through the holes and pulled the shirt over his head, gently guiding his head back down to the pillow. You threw the shirt with your dirty clothes and started to focus in on his wounds. He moved his hand back over across his chest. You decided to start at the crucial points first.
You moved his hand away from his ribs and looked around the area to see if you could see any bruising or discoloration of some sort, which didn’t appear to be present. You moved on to his head, his golden hair was drenched in sweat and blood, the light tinting of brown didn’t seem to suite his sweet face. The red liquid cascaded down the side of his face; you followed the stream of blood and uncovered his gash on his head. You ripped one of your towels and put it in a little water so you could start to clean. You held his hair away from the wound that you cleaned. His soft blonde hair fell as you stroked his head to lay the hair down; he was warm to the touch as well. You gently pushed it together and taped his forehead together. You moved to his next flaw, his split lip. Again you cleaned and patched that up. His eye started to become discolored as time passed. You dabbed your finger with an ointment around his black eye to prevent later damage. Next was his arm, all bloodied and battered from the unknown event that happened. You had almost run out of rags to use to clean his blood so you used some of your old t shirts that you had.
After a couple of hours you had cleaned all of the external damage that you saw. Most of the blood, dirt, and sweat were lifted from his skin, you cleaned up the mess and you returned to your studies. You sat against the wall and faced the bed with your books and papers sprawled out in front of you. Sitting there you couldn’t help but wonder how he knew your name. You shook it off and walked over to the kitchen to make you a nice warm drink.
Occasionally you would glance over to see his chest rise and fall and his injured arm move up and down with the motion of his chest. The soft glow of the single lamp that lit your quaint apartment seemed to dance over his skin as it highlighted his muscles and his looks that soon had your stomach twisting and turning. Your attention managed to mosey back over to your studies, trying to do your best. You heard some movement from your bed as you pulled out one of your earphones. He moved his arms under himself trying to sit up. He moaned as he moved slightly.
“Don’t” You said as you cautiously moved the papers off of your lap, rushing over to him
“Sorry” He said as he laid back down letting a sigh of relief slip out of his lips. His head rests falls back onto the pillow; he turned his head to see you as you pulled your books and papers closer to him as you leaned up against your bed.
“Where are my clothes?” He asked as he blew in your hair to get your attention
“I took off your shirt to help your injuries.” You said bashfully as you shuffled a couple of papers around in your lap.
“What are you studying?” He asked looking at the notes that you held up
“Anatomy and Physiology” You replied
“You want to become a doctor?” He asked as he repositioned his body on the bed
“No, I just find it fascinating.” You turned some more pages before finding the one that you needed
“Nurse?” He pushed trying one last time
“No” you smiled and smirked under your breath, there was an awkward silence as you heard him breathe deep breaths behind you
“So, what happened?” You tried not to intrude
“Oh I just got in a fight” He tried to be blunt
“You got beat up pretty bad, do your ribs hurt?” You turned around so you could face him
“Yeah a little, am I going to be ok?” He started getting concerned
“You’re going to die for sure” You started to open up to the stranger with sarcasm, a chuckle left his pink battered lips as he hugged his stomach. He started to groan as you kneeled by him
instinctively placing your hands on his, where he was pushing.
“You actually could have some fractured ribs.” You gently moved his hands away and started
to rub your hands among his ribs. You gently pulled away realizing what you were doing.
“Sorry” You gently sat back down on your folded feet beneath you.
“It’s fine _________” His deep, husky, voice called you
“How do you know my name?” You asked
“Remember we were in middle school together, then you went to high school and I had to fall out for a year to help my family, you had a new baby brother when you were a second year in high school. You wore your hair long for most of High school and then you changed it and it looks really good now.” Dongwoon said as he began to entice you with his brown eyes.
“I am sorry but I don’t remember you that well, I’m sorry” You said shuffling papers so that you could sit properly
“I am Dongwoon, Son Dongwoon” He held out his non injured hand and you shook it trying not to be too harsh
“Were you the one that always stayed after school to play piano? Were you the one that asked for the paper and pens because you would always run out and write little phrases and words in the margins of the paper?” Your eyes widened as he gently nodded his head
“I was called Woon in Middle school because people would make fun of my name.” He confessed as he moved his head to look at the ceiling.
You sat there talking to him as he told you jokes and caught up with your lives, reminiscing on old memories that seemed to be pushed to the bottom of your list. You fell back to those days, you missed those days, and you missed seeing him and your friends. All of the emotions came back of those days as well. Sometimes you wished that you could go back and relive the good moments.
The brilliance of the sun shone through the small door window that you had. Paper’s scattered, books opened, web pages opened. You gently got up from your slouched position and opened the door to the bathroom, when you emerged again you had on a loose fitting hoodie, with your tighter jeans. You slipped on some shoes; you walked over to the mess that you created for yourself. You gathered all of your papers and stacked your books on one another and placed them on your small desk that was in the corner. You waved goodbye to Dongwoon as you headed out the door, you gave him permission to use your computer so that he wouldn’t be bored all day without you, you also placed all of your books that you had close to him that he could be entertained.
The door seemed heavier than in the morning as you pushed it open, revealing your apartment, you sighed at what you had come home to. He was asleep on the bed. You lifted your backpack onto the counter and walked over to see how your patient was doing. His blonde hair covered his eyes slightly as you kneeled beside him. You looked at his wounds; a pink hue was emerging from the wound below, you grabbed another bandage from the bathroom and gently began to undo the bloodied one. You pushed his hair back to check his forehead, you brushed your finger over the wound, and his eyes squinted from under his eyelids. You gently pulled away repositioning his hair like it was before. You moved on to the next needy wound, grabbing his hand to reposition his arm so that you could work easier on his arm. His long, beautiful fingers lay on your arm as you began to remove the bandage.
Cautiously you gently peeled it from his arm, you looked at in closely, grabbing your water bottle and poured some cold water on it, to clean it once more. He gently lifted his head
“Sorry, this needed to be changed.” You said as you concentrated on your work. He winced once more before you dabbed his arm dry and began to apply the clean bandage.
“How was school?” He asked as you finished up with his arm
“Fine, I guess, it was school” You said as you took the dirty bandage and put it into the trash.
“Are you hungry?”
“Yes” Dongwoon said as he tried to lean on an arm
“Well I don’t make much but I will see what I have.” You looked in your small pantry as you pulled out two packages of noodles. You cooked it to the best of your abilities and walked over and handed him his bowl, he could barely sit up so you fed him before you fed yourself. He thanked you for the meal and you went and cleaned up from dinner.
Dongwoon began to improve after a couple of weeks from your close care. He started to gain strength and you both started to gain a friendship again. He had a couple minor issues that he still had to work out but otherwise he was perfectly healthy.
You went off to school like you normally did, trying to get through another day, surviving another day, living another day. Clouds started to form in the sky as you walked home after your long day. You loved the smell of rain, the way the rain pounds on the window, the natural tint of clouds, the rhythm of the rain, the pounding of the thunder, the surprise and shock of lightning, the calming sensation that rushes through my body when I can feel it getting colder, the wonderful feeling of simplicity that rains in your mind as you see the rain fall. You pushed the door open once more to your apartment, the place was dark then a light sparked on, a candle in the middle of the room. You walked towards the light not knowing what to expect. A couple more candles were slowly lit as you began to grow closer to the candles.
Soon there were enough candles to see the figure that stood in front of you. He stood there in his black slacks, his white shirt and black vest with a red tie. His hair all combed and a recently showered man stood in front of you.
“Dongwoon?” You whispered as rain started to patter against the window
“I wanted to thank you for taking care of me, your stranger.” Dongwoon said as he walked up to you and pulled out a chair for you to sit
“You didn’t have to do this” You tried to reason with him but he wouldn’t listen, he gently lifted the bowl that covered your plate. He had prepared you a restaurant worthy meal, a note leaned against your glass. You gently took that paper and held it in your hands, sliding your thumb under the glue that held the words concealed in the folded chamber.
I know this hasn’t been easy for you. To balance your life and try and keep a happy attitude, you are my little piece of paradise. You are my angel, my saving grace. You are the one that I came to when I was going to lose everything, when I was in my lowest point. I have seen you and the hardships that you have persevered; I appreciate everything that you have gone through good or bad. You are my role model,, my best friend, my whole world. You deserve the very best for you had more sorrow and pain than any one person should have to deal with alone. Keep smiling and be your beautiful you.
Reading the note brought tears to your eyes, he hugged you and you were so glad that he had been there, your best friends, your patient, your stranger.