11 April 2016 @ 08:22 am



Chanyeol had always said his love for Baekhyun was boundless. Right from the moment he’d met the petite brunet, he’d known that Byun Baekhyun was the man he’d want to spend the rest of his life with. His friends had called him foolish; they’d told him that love at first sight was a temporary thing; that he was actually in lust rather than in love. Chanyeol had nodded, but deep down he knew that they were wrong; because the feelings that Baekhyun brought about in him were not simply of lust; Byun Baekhyun instilled in him a sense of ease; he was the breathe of fresh air Chanyeol needed; he was the dissimilarity; and he was the color in Chanyeol’s monotonous life.




















To say that Chanyeol’s parents were upset when he’d told them that he would be marrying a baker and an orphan - someone so far from their social status - would’ve been an understatement. His father had threatened to disown him, while his mother had cried and looked at him in gloomy disappointment. The moment they met the petite baker, however, everything changed.

Byun Baekhyun had waltzed into their life and stolen away their hearts just as he had done to Chanyeol.





















Marriage life with Baekhyun was everything Chanyeol could have ever dreamed of.

After spending a week in paradise for their honeymoon, they’d return home to their own slice of heaven - the homey flat decorated by Baekhyun’s careful hands. They’d been forced to return to reality, each focusing on their own work. Being away from Baekhyun was the hardest thing for Chanyeol; but what got him through the day was the thought of coming home, into the open arms of his loving husband, and to the smell of the best food he’d ever tasted in his life.

He enjoyed every moment they spent together. Baekhyun made every chore an adventure; even washing and drying dishes.

When it came time for them to turn in for the night, Chanyeol would pull the smaller male into his arms. He would tell Baekhyun about his day, purposely making it seem like he’d enjoyed it; like it didn’t kill him that he was forced to spend hours apart from his love. He would smile when Baekhyun would, in turn, tell him about the customers who’d been pulled in by Baekhyun’s charm; sometimes, he would become jealous of these strangers…for they were able to see and spend time with his husband when he couldn’t.

When he noticed Baekhyun’s eyes slowly drooping, and when his husband began making the soft, whimpering sounds that he loved so much, Chanyeol hugged him tighter. He would wait for his nightly kiss before burying his face into Baekhyun’s sensitive neck, allowing Baekhyun’s scent and his puppy sounds to lull him to sleep.





















Chanyeol never liked fighting with Baekhyun.

He hated knowing that he was the reason Baekhyun wasn’t smiling; because he loved when Baekhyun smiled. He loved the way his husband’s mouth would form a soft rectangle, and the way Baekhyun’s eyes would crescent; but even more so, he loved Baekhyun’s melodious laughter.





















Baekhyun had always loved lilacs. He’d once told Chanyeol that the purple flowers stood or first love, and had admitted, shyly, that Chanyeol was his first love.

From that day on, Chanyeol loved purple lilacs as well; but not as much as he loved Byun Baekhyun - his first, and only love.

When Baekhyun told him he’d wanted to adopt, Chanyeol felt his heart drop.

“I just need you. I need us, together. I need a family.”

‘I’m sorry, Baekhyun, but I can’t give you that.’





















Baekhyun had always liked cute things, and Chanyeol had hoped that a dog would be able to keep his mind off of the aspect of family. He’d spent days scouring the city, going from pet store to pet store, and finally, he’d found him - the little white puppy at the run-down animal shelter.





















The white powder puff of a dog - who Baekhyun had deemed as Buddy - had seemed to make Baekhyun happy for a while. It’s merry temperament and peaceful attitude made it the perfect companion for Baekhyun. Chanyeol had only wished he’d picked a dog with less of an issue with separation anxiety; the cheerful puppy would whine and cry every time they left the house, giving them sad, wistful looks as it watched them close the door. The look that Buddy gave them…Chanyeol couldn’t help but think about the way it resembled the expressions Baekhyun gave him when he thought he wasn’t looking every time he left the house.





















“But…I didn’t have symptoms.”

“Unfortunately, these types of diseases can sometimes be asymptomatic; and symptoms only start showing when it’s too late. I’m sorry, Mr. Park.”

“I- How long?”

He didn’t have to explain for the man to understand what he was trying to ask. He was sure he’d heard similar questions countless times in his career.

“At the stage you’re at, we can only try and make you more comfortable, and possibly try to prolong your time.”

“How long?”

“Two years, at the most.”





















The migraines had started getting worse and worse, becoming more frequent, incapacitating him.

On certain nights, Chanyeol would find himself curled up on the lone leather couch in his office, hands fisted in one of Baekhyun’s sweatshirts that he’d always kept in his office, waiting for the pain to pass.

He’d always make sure to bring the hoodie home and switch it out for a new one every time the scent would start to fade.

“Chanyeol, have you seen my Supreme hoodie?”

“Hmm?” Chanyeol would look up from his laptop, watching in amusement as his husband went about the entire house, lifting up pillows and cushions, looking for his lost article of clothing. “No, I haven’t,” he would respond with a knowing smirk when Baekhyun groaned in frustration.

“They keep disappearing and then reappearing weeks later in the laundry room!” Baekhyun would say, getting on all fours to look under the couch. “Yeol, I think we have a ghost.”

Chanyeol would chuckle, sending a knowing smile towards Baekhyun before looking back down at his laptop.

The sweatshirt took Baekhyun’s place in comforting him; it allowed him to imagine that Baekhyun was there, gently stroking his back and telling him that everything would be all right.





















As the migraines became more frequent, he’d started going home less and less. He didn’t want Baekhyun to see him in pain; he didn’t want to hurt Baekhyun too.

And when he was home, the constant pain took its toll on him, making him too tired to do anything else.





















“Chanyeol, do you want to watch a movie?”

“I’m tired Baekhyun.”

‘I don’t want to let you see me in pain.’





















“Chanyeol, I made dinner.”

“I’m not hungry. You eat by yourself.”

’I appreciate your effort, Baekhyun. It smells really good; but I can’t stomach any food right now. I’m afraid I’ll be sick, and you’ll worry.’





















“Your parents called, they want us to come visit soon.”

“You go, I don’t have the time.”

‘It’s hard enough hiding it from you, Baekhyun. I can’t face my parents right now, too…’





















He wished he could go back in time.

Back to a time when he could enjoy his time with Baekhyun without fear; without having to worry that the petite brunet would pick up on the slightest flinch of pain, the smallest tremor of his hands.

Because Baekhyun was observant, and Chanyeol didn’t want to risk him knowing.





















“Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“Please, just do it.”

“But your husband-“

“Please, just help me.”

He wanted to reach out and snatch the shirt back before Ryleigh’s lips could touch it; but as his secretary stained the brand new shirt, Chanyeol found himself smiling sadly.

‘It’ll be better this way, Baekhyun…’





















He knew Baekhyun would see the shirt; he’d left it out, so obviously, atop the pile of dirty laundry.

What he didn’t know was how hard it would be to watch his husband doubt himself as his hands fisted the white material, eyes glassed over as he stared down at the red lip marking as if staring at it long enough would make it disappear.

He wasn’t prepared for how much his heart would heart every time Baekhyun would look at him sadly, his eyes so puppy-like that Chanyeol just wanted to squeeze him in his arms and never let him go.





















“Will you be home tomorrow?”

“No.”

“Can’t you just come home?” His heart clenched at the hurt evident in his husband’s tone. “Just for one night?”

“I’m busy.”

He’d hung up the phone before Baekhyun could hear him break down; but as he looked down at the wrapped present in his hands, he allowed his tears to fall freely as he thought about his husband, alone at home on the anniversary of the day that meant so much to them both.

‘I’m sorry, Baekhyun.’

‘Happy Anniversary Baekhyun.’

‘I love you, Baekhyun.’





















Sending the divorce papers to Baekhyun was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do; but he knew it was something that had to be done.

His disease was getting worse; the tumor was spreading. He wouldn’t be able to hide it from Baekhyun any longer.

‘It’s better this way, Park Chanyeol. It’s better if he hates you.’





















Watching Baekhyun pack away his belongings, taking away all traces of him made Chanyeol want to cry.

He knew he should’ve just let go, but he couldn’t stop himself from begging Baekhyun to stay.

‘Just one more night. Let me be by your side just for tonight.’





















He felt Baekhyun toss and turn all night, and when morning came, before the sun even had its rise, Baekhyun was up and getting ready to walk out of his life.

That day, he laid in bed all day and cried; not because of the pain in his head, but the pain in his heart.

He’d promised Baekhyun an everlasting love.

He would keep that promise until the day he died.





















***





















He’d never expected he would see Chanyeol again.

Nor did he expect his heart to start beating twice as fast for the man who’d broken him after five years of marriage.

“Baekhyun…”

“Hello, Chanyeol.”

“What- How are you?”

“I’m fine, Chanyeol.”

‘Don’t let him know you still care, Byun Baekhyun.’





















He knew something was wrong the day Chanyeol’s secretary showed up on his doorstep.

His heart almost stopped beating when he saw her pull out a stack of envelopes. He didn’t reach out for them, though; he couldn’t. Thankfully, Kris was there to take them for him, along with the cardboard box Ryleigh also handed over.





















Letters.

Within each envelope held a letter that Chanyeol had written.

As Baekhyun went through each one, he felt his heart breaking all over again. He tried his best to not cry as he observed Chanyeol’s handwriting get messier with each letter; and as each letter became shorter and less coherent.

He’d thought he’d done well…until he reached the last envelope.

And once the first tear escaped, he couldn’t stop the rest from spilling.





















“He asked me to take care of you,” Kris had told him. “He came to me one day and said he was dying, and someone needed to be there for you.”

Baekhyun had found himself overwhelmed - by anger…by sorrow…by loss.

“He made me promise not to tell you.”





















If anyone asked, Baekhyun would tell them that Chanyeol’s love for him was pure, shameless, passionate, intense, patient, and illogical. He would only use one word to describe the adoring giant: selfless.

They had promised that they’d love each other until the day they died.

Chanyeol had kept his promise after all.

“Who’s this, Papa?”

Baekhyun placed the lilac atop the gravestone before turning to his son, smiling softly.

“Him? He’s the man you were named after; and he’s the one that showed me what true, everlasting love is.” He reached out to grab his son’s hand, leading him to stand in front of the grave. “This, Chanhyun, is Park Chanyeol.”

–fin–


part i

 
 
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