the bright sea of waving phone flashlights and lightsticks along with the thousands of incredibly loud and voluminous voices chanting and screaming made his heart beat unusually fast. so fast that he felt like he'd pass out or go insane within the next three minutes. his body was uncomfortably hot but at the same time trembling due to the uncontrolled ice cold shivers running down his spine in steadily decreasing intervals.
his shaky legs tried their best not to collapse under his weight and his suddenly blurry vision made it difficult for him to even keep the balance. his eyes were hectically searching for a calm refuge, a nonexistent point in the crowd he could focus on, before he violently squeezed them shut instead until he perceived tiny patterns resembling a galaxy dancing in front of the dark background of his lids' inner walls.
the lump in his dried out throat blocking his respiratory passages seemed to grow bigger and bigger with every further minute passing, his stomach was twisting, giving him nausea.
this was already the third time in merely two weeks that changbin once again suffered a panic attack, however, it was the first time to happen right in front of his members and additionally thousands of fans directly watching him, which made it even worse. changbin had never considered mentally preparing himself for this moment as a matter of prudence, he hadn't even thought of the possibility of him having anxiety attacks somewhere else than discreetly hidden in his own four walls, all alone behind his locked door, well protected from foreign curious eyes.
his thoughts went completely blank as the panic was consuming his mind's whole space capacity. all he was perceiving right now was unreasonable fear and his body's urge to run away from this place, run to a safe place where no one would look for him.
he felt so incredibly tiny, fragile, vulnerable, while everything and everyone else around him seemed to grow taller and louder.
he was like a microscopic animal desperately running in circles between a group of big human feet trying to step on it and to quash it.
it was a situation like in those nightmares when a faceless, gigantic being would mercilessly chase him, in which he would run and run but just couldn't get forward, sensing the creature's hot breath burning in his neck, a lost prey that had gotten caught in a pack of starving wolves' clutches.
his stinging breast was rising and falling twice as fast as normally and he felt as if he was about to suffocate, as if his neck was being choked and neither able to inhale fresh oxygen nor able to empty his lungs filled with old air.
the rivers of cold sweat running down his pale face were mixing with the burning, acidic tears forming in his still squeezed eyes, however, he was numb, his body was frozen, he couldn't even turn around, couldn't even wipe his face.
clenching his fists, his finger nails were digging as deep into his hands soft skin as possible, leaving small violet-blue crescents, in order to make the sharp pain distract himself from the scary situation. his edgy nails scratching over his bare underarms was seemingly the last thing to hold him back from going insane.
he felt like he would explode if he didn't leave the stage within the next few moments.
changbin didn't even want to imagine how weird he probably was looking right now, gasping for air like a fish on the dry land, while trembling and struggling to stand on his feet. all that counted for him now was only to leave this open place with curious cameras and multiple strangers looking at him, cheering at him.
changbin was too concentrated on his anxious thoughts that he didn't even notice the warm, soft hand gently brushing over his shaking arms at first and then, since he didn't react, two cooling palms laying themselves over his feverish cheeks, hyunjin's faint voice trying to get access to his aching ears.
but changbin couldn't hear a single word coming from his member's lips. he was tired, so tired from his rapid breathing, from the concert, his social battery was running lower than ever before.
pushing away hyunjin's hands, changbin tried to stumble backstage as all he could perceive right now was the red alarm lights going off in front of his inner eye and his mind's repetitive command to escape that didn't allow any opposition.
suddenly he heard loud thuds behind him, making his ears squeak painfully, and simultaneously got blinded by bright, colorfully sparkling lights flashing right in front of him as he turned around, which made him run even faster towards the confused staff. he felt the firework's stinging sulfurous smell invading his nose and polluting his breath whereas he had to arch his back forwards, trying to make his oxygen deficient lungs' volumen increase while stabilizing himself against the next wall near him with one hand.
slowly but surely his breath finally began to normalize, his lungs were able to fill with air and his sight became clearer with every moment passing. his squeezed eyes threatened to release tears pressuring against his eyebags as he was helplessly looking for a firm position for his shaking body. not being able to stand still he just let himself slide down the wall and buried his throbbing head in his knees.
he was such a baby.
afraid of crowds, loud noises, bright lights. it really couldn't go on like this, he was an idol after all, the stage was practically his second home. if he really wanted to survive in the music industry, he was forced to break through these obstacles.
furthermore, his members didn't seem to have any difficulties either with adjusting to the unknown situations and the big mobs in the airport and concert halls.
only him. he was just so weak.
chan really hadn't worked his ass off to build a group like this when changbin couldn't even get his life together and act normal for once.
why couldn't he just hide his fear, why, yeah why did he have to be this obvious? the members were certainly annoyed and probably also mad since he had left way before the show's official end - which was understandable though, their fans paid lots of money for it and now changbin messed up and disappointed everyone, again.
he felt so stupid, so hypersensitive and he hated it, he hated nothing more than people trying to gain attention by looking pathetic and now he showed this pattern pretty much himself.
of course, he hadn't faked his panick attack, why would he, however it had made him feel so ridiculous and stupid enough that he almost persuaded himself about having merely simulated everything.
oh, how he would love to just go back to being a normal boy again, a boy who could go on the streets without being surrounded by multiple fans in a split second, he wished he could just restart his life unnoticed and definitely not as famous.
he hated the amount of attention he was receiving, he hated the fact that millions of people knew his name, his shoe size, his favorite food, had weird phantasies about him and wasted their thoughts on him although he didn't even know about their existence.
he felt so exposed, vulnerable, accessable and he was so tired of it. but his passion and love for making music were much bigger than the hatred and fear nagging on his heart, music was his everything and he had invested insanely much time and effort into what he was doing now. he had undergone uncountable hardships and breakdowns, encouraged by the goal he had started to reach one year ago.
and yet he was so unhappy.
was this really the life he had been wishing for? definitely not.
but rejecting his career, the young dream he was literally able to live now, all that seemed so rudely ungrateful to him, it made him feel like a greedy, never satisfied idiot and he was ashamed of himself. did he really deserve such a big amount of love coming from his fans and members, this much of dedication and attention? did his songs really deserve to be clicked millions of times, was his voice worth it to be blasted through thousands of speakers all around the world when he couldn't even give these people anything back? they were the only reason he was able to fulfill his dreams and goals and although he put all his heart and affection into his music, although his ambitious self kept challenging himself further and further, never satisfied, always critically scolding himself, despite all these things he thought he didn't pay enough for the blessings he received.
he was a mooch, lived on others' costs, he didn't work enough. what if his fans realized that one day, as well? what if they just decided overnight not to support him anymore, not accepting his efforts and demanding more, too much for him, something impossible to ever create? what if his members eventually stopped admiring him and his skills, his music, his personality? what if they all broke apart?
these unlikely ideas weren't uncommon for changbin, he already knew them better than he knew himself and most importantly, they knew him, his weaknesses, his sore spots. they were aware of the best way to attack him, to steal him his calmness which ultimately made him overthink and panicking.
if. the lyrics of the song he had written with naive light-heartedness back in the good old predebut days had finally become reality, something he would've never dreamed of. unlike in his past, thoughts like these now usually accompanied changbin every single day, successfully prevented him from getting a healthy amount of sleep and ate up his self-esteem until there weren't even any puny crumbles left.
and every night he'd end up laying in bed, the cold presence of anxiety to his left extracting the last rays of warm light in his sore body and making him shiver like the ice cold, dry northwestern wind beating through seoul's empty streets in winter. with her long, thin fingers she'd uncomfortably carress his cheeks first and scratch his skin until it was bloody in the next moment. he had already given up getting rid of her, she was now part of his personality and she convinced him that it was best for everyone until he in fact threw away the thought of seeking help once for all and accepted his destiny instead.
and then, laying to his right, there was the never ending darkness sucking out all his happiness, draining his energy and motivation like a black hole he was caught in, the more he tried to fight back, the deeper he would be sucked in, just like quicksand.
yes, making music was doubtlessly still his biggest passion, it refilled his empty body with joy and peace. but as soon as he'd leave the studio after a hard workday, the brightness as well left his mind and he went back to being the angsty, sad adolescent he was.
people always reminded him about how he used to smile a lot, how he used to randomly hug his members and made them laugh. that was long time ago. today's changbin didn't even know how to smile anymore. for him it wasn't more than moving his lips' corners and faking a happy expression that actually was nonexistent.
when he was sitting on the cold floor now in an unchanged position, he didn't smile either. but at least his body had calmed down and he wasn't shaking that hard anymore. however, he was fully aware that the problem still wasn't solved - how should he approach his members after this and most importantly what would happen in the future? he couldn't go on like this, being afraid of big crowds and loud noises, when that was basically half of an idol's everyday life. neither could he just take a break when everything got too much, his team needed him and his career was his only revenue stream.
he was just so goddamn tired of existing.
drip. drop. two thick tears his eyes had given up on suppressing started running down his cheek followed by several others.
and there he sat, silently crying, like he always did when he came to that point where he realized his life's nonsense. he didn't make a noise, he didn't feel anything, just watched the tears flying through the air before being brutally smashed on the ground making hardly audible sounds. and with every further tear falling, their image started to variate in front of his inner eye until he suddenly saw himself, falling and being smashed on the ground, leaving a non audible sign.
a scenario he wasn't too attached to, however, it was fascinating, gave him chills, it felt good.
with difficulty he slowly picked himself up and lurched to the stairs until he suddenly found himself on the rooftop two minutes after. it wasn't a beautiful evening tonight. the yellowish moon was hidden by thick, grey clouds reflecting the bright artificial light from the big city beneath, here and there he felt single raindrops colliding with his face and making everything twice as cold. the air was giving him chills and he faintly could hear the cheering fans from down under, while he already saw a smattering of people pouring out of the concert hall onto the street - their performance had obviously finished, without him.
he sat himself on the roof's edge, his short legs dangling twenty meters over the ground.
would it already be high enough to die?
he highly doubted it. probably would break half of his body, but it was low enough to survive.
changbin didn't even flinch when he felt another's presence behind him and subsequently another person sitting down next to him. he didn't even lift his eyes, merely the way the other was breathing, the sound his steps had made, all this was enough for him to recognize who it was. they sat there for hours, none of them talking, both shivering in the cold air but enjoying the view on the illuminated city where the cars were racing like small insects through the loud streets.
changbin felt comforted. he was glad the other knew well enough that words wouldn't always the best choice to solve issues, oftentimes silence was better healing. the other's calm presence radiated warmth, loved, silent understanding. he didn't remember the last time that he'd felt this accepted for who he was, for how he was acting, no tiring lectures given, no concerned eyes piercing through him, no unnecessary question asked, instead silence and empathy.
the boy next to him didn't need words to understand, he knew his friend well enough to decide what he needed now.
and adding to that, he even could relate to what he was going through, because he lowkey had been experiencing similar thoughts himself as well, still did now, however, at some point he had decided to put them aside, to suppress them and not to show them to anyone he was close to.
right now, changbin was the most important. he slowly got up, reaching out his hand to his highly admired member who still was sitting dangerously close on the edge, only a few centimeters separating him from the seductive depths.
"hyung. let's not jump today. you must be tired."
patiently staying there, he waited until his words had sunken into his friend's mind and another minutes until they finally took effect and he could feel fragile, cold fingers leaning into his strong grip, as both of them slowly made their way to the door, chose life over death once more.
and when changbin felt the unending love and warmth flowing through the other's heart, meeting his own soul through their intertwined fingers, he perhaps already felt a little bit better.
"thank you, hyunjin. for everything."
something might happen,
i'm just saying what if
nobody knows about it,
i'm just saying what if
maybe it's a big deal or maybe it's not, what's the reason for this uneasiness?
i'm just saying what if