Always, he's had that dream since he was little every day without fail. A vast lavender field and a girl overly familiar to him. It was his solace, an irreplaceable sense of safety and warmth that would accompany him whenever he spent time with the girl. His memory would be too hazy to remember the girl in his dreams, but a sense of longing filled him whenever he was on the verge of remembering her name.
"My name is Bam. Who are you?"
"I am… ______"
"–Rachel! Why can't I go with you?!"
"I told you Bam, Tower University isn't a place you can just apply to without thinking twice. I'm going there so I can chase the stars! You need to continue your studies here."
She just pushed him away, swiftly getting into the car. Bam ran as fast as he could, screaming at the top of his lungs while desperately chasing after the car. Soon enough he ran out of energy, collapsing on the deserted road. Panting from exhaustion, he doesn't understand why Rachel would leave him for the stars. But he'll get into Tower University no matter what it takes.
Bam considered himself lucky when he encountered Yuri and Evan who were kind enough to help him submit his application in the nick of time. The entrance exam consisted of several parts. In the first test area, he encountered Headon and another irregular participant like him. An overwhelming sense of deja vu crashed down at him when the aroma of lavender invaded his nostrils. A girl with flowing knee length pale lavender hair and reflective blue-violet eyes that stared into the very core of his soul.
“My name is Bam. Who are you?”
“I am… Evolet.”
“Will you become my friend?”
“Of course, Bam. Anything for you.”
It was supposed to be their first meeting, but it feels as if they've known each other for years. The way they work together flawlessly as if capable of reading each other's minds. Their first and third tests relied heavily on teamwork, which the students found quite odd but had no choice either than complying. They met Khun and Rak in the second test, forming a balanced team which allowed them to pass the third test with ease. A short break was provided just before the fourth test, and the team found themselves in a short conversation.
They discovered that Rak was here because he overheard the university was highly competitive and often participated in sports tournaments. Khun's reason for applying here was apparently because he wanted to spite his father by taking a completely different major than his family and proving his worth. Bam took the enrollment tests in order to chase Rachel, and Khun concluded that she was his rule. They turned to Evolet, asking her the reason behind her enrollment. Evolet's lips curled up into a smile.
"I'm looking for someone, a boy to be exact."
"Really? Have you found him yet?"
"I suppose you could say that."
"I found him, but it seems I'm too late again."
"Why are you searching for him?"
"He's… the most important person in my life."
"Who am I to you?"
"Hm? What are you saying, Bam? You are yourself, simply the 25th Bam. The most important person in my life."
Bam could feel his stomach churning when Evolet uttered those words with pure adoration in her eyes and tender smile. It didn't sit quite right with him, not knowing who that person was. He encountered Rachel once more in the fourth test. But she kept silent, hiding her appearance beneath a cloak as her team helped Bam’s team. All he could do was stare, unable to move from his spot lest he wanted his team to fail. Rachel got injured and everything went downhill quickly. The sight of blood was enough to get Bam to leap from his designated place, and he threw himself in the firing line to protect his brightest star. As his consciousness began to fade away, he remembered hearing Evolet’s alarmed shouts and gentle arms cradling him close to warmth.
He was running through the lavender field, heading to the clearing where he knew she would be waiting. The girl was lying down on the grassy ground, gazing at the sky with a peaceful expression. Bam waved his hand, excitedly shouted his greetings as the girl smiled softly at the sight of him. As he was nearing, he tackled the girl who was now standing into a hug, earning bouts of melodious laughter. They stayed in the hug for a few moments before separating, and the girl frowned at the sight of wounds on Bam. Already expecting this to happen, the girl whipped up a first aid kit and started patching him up. She grumbled, reprimanding him for getting injured most of the time when he came here and that he should stop getting hurt so much. Bam’s head drooped down guiltily at that. But he inwardly smiled, aware that the girl would always be ready to heal him. The warmth of her touch soothed his pain, and he thinks he wouldn’t mind getting hurt as long as she’s there.
When Bam opened his eyes, he was greeted by the sight of Evolet holding onto his hand gingerly as she slept awkwardly on a chair beside him. Khun explained the situation, briefing him about the events that had occurred after he passed out. Bam was told how Evolet stayed by his side the whole time until he woke up, a sense of warmth and safety blossoming in his chest as a smile spread itself on his face. Since there wasn’t a clear winner in the fourth test, they will organize a special training before moving onto the final test. Khun told him that he was mistaken, that the girl he protected wasn’t the Rachel he was searching for. Bam noticed the lie, yet he can’t figure out why Khun would lie to him except if Rachel asked him to do so. He pushed the thought to the back of his mind temporarily, opting to focus on the special training instead.
Evolet proved to be a great tutor during the training period. Ensuring Bam was well versed in the basics and quickly raising his rank while also securing a safe place for herself in a different course. During the span of the special training, Bam started gathering friends almost naturally and they found themselves having their own large group of friends despite the competition and varying courses. Rak, Evolet, and another applicant successfully got their immediate qualification and earned their rightful place in Tower University. Evolet could only watch worriedly from the sidelines as the others undertook the fifth test. It didn’t come as a surprise when the test quickly went haywire, especially when nearly no one in the second team was willing to cooperate with each other. Both Bam and Rachel were in that team, and Evolet can’t help it as a bittersweet smile made itself apparent on her face when Bam discovered it was truly Rachel.
“Bam, who is ------?”
He perked up at the mention of her name, eagerly telling her stories of ------. There was a momentary flash of hurt in her eyes, disappearing as soon as it appeared. He didn’t spot it, simply continuing his stories with awe. She didn’t regret asking about her, but at the same time she did.
The problematic test came to a resolute end after many mishaps, and they proceeded on. Despite the difference in majors, the team unexpectedly stuck together with Bam’s innocent charm. They would often meet from time to time, checking whenever the others would be free. Out of all of them, Evolet was the one who spent the most time with Bam. She had quite a few classes lined up together with Bam, and she would often help him study in some lessons. If you ask the team, they would no doubt say that those two were the closest out of all of them. Most of the time they would be seen together. By time people would just search Bam if they wanted to find Evolet, and vice versa. And even when they're not together, the other would always know where their pair went.
Though people seemed to be aware that Evolet was absolutely smitten with Bam, said male was utterly unaware of it. At first, they all found it to be quite entertaining. Evolet was the one who acted like a gentleman, subtly flirting with Bam who was unaware of her advances. Sudden hugs, a kiss on the cheek or the forehead, homemade cooking, cuddling, holding hands, visiting places together, ordering each other's favorite food, the list went on and on. He would always welcome the actions and reciprocate them, as if it was natural for the both of them to do. Then there was that one time…
Evolet was running late to her meeting with Bam, held up by Hansung who cashed in a favor and made her help with his paperwork of all things. Then midway as she was heading to Bam, she was stopped by an underclassman who asked a bit of her time. Sure enough, she turned him down because she was already late. But he didn't want to back down, insisting that it was only for a little while. Evolet reluctantly agreed, telling him to state his business swiftly. She hadn't been aware that Bam was not far behind her along with Khun, worried because she didn't send any message to inform them. The underclassman hadn't even started speaking before Bam was standing right behind her, hands looping around Evolet's waist and neckline. Possessive in every way possible when he nearly let out a feral growl with dark eyes.
"Back off, she's mine."
The underclassman shrieked, not needing a second warning as he dashed off. Bam didn't notice how Evolet's face flushed a brilliant shade of red to the tip of her ears, slightly steaming. Nobody protested when Khun clicked the shutter on his phone, nodding in approval with a grin worthy of Cheshire Cat. It was the best picture he took all year long, he said. She smiled softly as she went home later on, heart fluttering at the slightest ray of hope that Bam might actually return her feelings this time round. Would it be fine if she hoped for a little while?
On the other hand, Rachel was the one who spent the least time with Bam. She didn't have a single class together with Bam, and would blatantly avoid them even during break hours. The most they see her would be in the hallways, or when Bam personally invited her to a gathering. That certainly didn't deter Bam though. If Rachel didn't seek him out, then he would be the one doing it. Whenever he had free time, he would rush to search for Rachel. He couldn't see the burning hatred and jealousy behind her forced fake smiles. How she would glare at him behind his back. His friends noticed them, but he didn't listen till the very end.
It was one of the rare holidays, and Bam had invited her for an excursion. Evolet didn't think twice before accepting, grabbing a jacket before heading to the park. She was walking leisurely, knowing that Bam wouldn't be there yet since she had departed early so that she had time to spare. A certain shop caught Evolet's eyes, and she stopped in her tracks. Her legs voluntarily brought her to the shop, doorbell chiming as she opened the door and the owner greeted her.
"Excuse me, can I request a bouquet…?"
"Of course, is there any flower you want in particular? Or any message you want to convey in the bouquet?"
"Lavender… yellow tulips, jonquils, bellflowers, and geranium… please."
The florist wrapped everything neatly, adding final touches to the bouquet that contained variations of yellow and purple flowers. Evolet paid the florist, bouquet held gingerly in her arms.
"I hope everything goes well and your affection gets returned." Evolet was taken aback with the comment, but gave a blinding sincere smile in return. She was grateful for the encouragement, properly saying her gratitude before exiting the shop.
The bouquet wasn't a large one, so she hid it behind her back as she approached Bam who was already waiting for her.
""Bam/Eve, I have something to say!""
They laughed at the rushed sentences, apparently both of them had news they couldn't wait to say. Evolet let Bam go first, and she couldn't be more relieved that she did that.
"I think– I'm in love with Rachel."
Her shoulders slumped down and her legs went lax. Evolet's breath hitched, mouth going dry as her thoughts started blanking out. The bouquet hidden behind her back was gripped tight as she forced the words out while stuttering.
She couldn't register anything that Bam was saying. Her heart clenched at the thought, something was constricting her lungs and she felt like choking at first thought. That sentence sent her world crashing down, shattering it to pieces. She wanted nothing more to cry. How naive had she been? Hoping that Bam would finally return her feelings this time round, when she knew his eyes were in Rachel the whole time. Evolet hadn't noticed how she was spacing out until Bam was waving his hands in front of her, asking what she had wanted to tell him before. Evolet could see the joy in Bam's eyes, and she wasn't about to ruin it by selfishly confessing to him. So the bouquet was kept hidden as she forced a smile, hiding the hurt in her eyes by closing them.
"Ah, I just wanted to tell you that something came up and I can't go with you today. I'm really sorry, Bam. I'll make it up to you later okay?!" She didn't wait for his reply before dashing off. It was foolish of her to even have the slightest hope because of a single action. Bam doesn't know why he stretched his hands, trying to reach out to Evolet as she left abruptly. But he didn't chase her, rooted still to his spot as a sense of foreboding and regret bloomed in his heart.
That day, Evolet curled up against the door as violent coughs wrecked her body. The bouquet was long forgotten on her table, but she sobbed in anguish as history repeated itself once more. She held her neck as the relentless coughs and the itch from the petals gnawed on her. Whispering Bam's name over and over again desperately like a prayer. Her hands clasped a single yellow daffodil petal, hoping for an impossible wish to come true.
The girl was weaving a flower crown out of lavender when Bam visited her this time. As always, they both smiled at the sight of each other. Bam sat down as the girl stood up and caringly placed the finished lavender crown flower on his head. She placed her hands on his cheeks, leaning down to kiss his forehead tenderly. Bam brought a hand up to his forehead, touching the place where she kissed him. It took a moment to register before he blushed fervently, heart melting at the sight of the girl smiling lovingly at him. If it was possible, he wanted to stare at that smile forever. Time always felt too fast whenever he spent time with her. But he stood up anyway, preparing to go back lest he gets scolded for returning late. Before he went, the girl asked him a question.
"Bam, do you love ------...?"
"With all of my heart." He answered resolutely.
The girl froze for a moment before her expression was taken over by something indescribable to Bam. Her eyes took on a glassy sheen as she forced a smile that spoke of resignation. There was a melancholic tone in her voice as she spoke her farewell to Bam. He didn’t notice the tears streaming down her face and the choked sobs as he walked away, still donning the lavender flower crown. But he could’ve sworn he saw a lone yellow petal fluttering in the wind on his way back home. The oddity in the lavender field brought upon unease to him, as if a bad omen was approaching.
That was the last dream Bam had of the girl. The next morning, his confession was somehow accepted by Rachel as if it was a miracle. When the dreams stopped the same day as Rachel accepted his confession, he took it as a sign that he finally found the girl in his dreams. A part of him wondered why it was a field of lavender instead of a yellow flower. The news of Bam and Rachel dating spread like wildfire. Most of the reaction consisted of surprise that it was Rachel instead of Evolet that Bam was dating. When they asked Evolet about it, she only showed them what was clearly a fake smile as she replied that it was impossible from the start. They didn’t dare to prod further when they could clearly see the sad resignation in her eyes.
The boy hasn’t returned to the lavender field for quite some time now, and the girl hoped he won’t come back. Her coughs were relentless, keeping her up throughout the long nights. Daffodil petals and its flowers scattered around her, each and every one of them coated in blood without fail. Her surroundings a bright yellow from the daffodils that contrasted the calming purple of the lavender field. She laid down at the daffodil covered ground, curling into herself as she longed for the suffering to end.
Khun was the first one who noticed the abnormalities happening. He watched with narrowed eyes as Bam spent more time with Rachel instead of Evolet and she was left alone without a single word. The time Bam spent with his group quickly dwindled when he opted to stick with Rachel more as her new boyfriend. Rather than the normal pairing, Evolet could be seen walking around the hallways by herself now. It was obvious to Khun that Evolet was the most affected by the change. He noticed how the eyebags on her eyes became more prominent, she seemed to be less attentive, her face became paler by each passing day and her strength diminished overtime, the wracking coughs that became more frequent and how she hid her palms every time after she coughed.
Khun didn’t expect it to come to this point. Evolet had a group work appointment with him today, and she didn’t give him any call or message of the sort that informed him of her absence. He sighed as his feet brought him to Evolet’s apartment, just a few floors above his own apartment room. Even if she was down because of Bam dating Rachel, he still expected her to take care of herself better and take her studies seriously. He knocked, calling out her name and waited for a few moments. When she didn’t answer after several times he knocked, he was too impatient as he dashed out a lockpick and made his way in. He shouted her name to no avail, there wasn’t any reply even when he shouted around the rooms and searched for Evolet. He stopped in front of her bedroom, silently weighing his options before knocking and letting himself in. What he saw made him freeze at the doorstep.
On the floor was an unconscious Evolet, curling into herself with pain etched on her expression. He would’ve been worried enough with only that. As if it wasn't enough, bloodied daffodils were strewn out around the girl. Some of them were still petals while some were intact flowers albeit covered in blood. Khun screamed out her name in panic, harshly shaking the girl to wake her up. He’s never been more grateful when Evolet groaned weakly and cracked her blue-violet eyes open. The previously shining blue-violet orbs were now dim, the owner coughing again as soon as she regained her consciousness. Khun grabbed a glass of water nearby, giving it to Evolet who accepted it graciously after she hacked up another bloodstained flower. She finally realized the situation she was in when Khun glared at her, a hidden worried look in his cobalt blue eyes. Evolet dared to grin sheepishly at him with her death pale complexion.
“I guess you found out…?”
A vein visibly bulged on Khun’s forehead, his hand already moving to bonk Evolet on the head. She whimpered as she caressed the sore spot on her head where Khun hit her. He helped her up to the bed before he gathered up the bloody daffodils and threw them to the trash can. It was painstakingly obvious that Evolet’s affection was undoubtedly for Bam.
“Do you even understand the severity of the condition you’re in? You–” He was cut off by Evolet before he could finish his words.
“I’m dying, yes. I’m fully aware of that, Khun-san.”
Evolet uttered those words with a knowing smile, and Khun could see that she meant those words. As if she wasn’t afraid of death and was already resigned to her fate. Khun’s eyes were staring straight at her, a sense of anger growing inside of him when she just continued on with her words as if everything was fine.
“I’m sorry about our appointment Khun-san, I’ll make sure to finish my part and send it to you later. I didn’t expect to collapse that fast… Please tell the professors that I’m sick and wouldn’t be able to attend for some time. I’ll put in a letter informing of my drop out to the school sometime soon. Ah, please keep this a secret from the others, especially Bam. If he asks my whereabouts, please tell him I accepted the offer to go abroad that I got back in the days and I wouldn’t be able to get in touch with him very often.” The pent up rage inside him blew up, his hands formed a fist as he punched the wall beside Evolet. She stopped speaking but the nonchalant look on her face remained. She was so calm about all of this, and it infuriated him to no end.
“YOU’RE DYING FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!! AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN THINK TO TELL US!”
Cobalt blue eyes burned intensely as he shouted out what’s been on his mind since she started speaking. Evolet’s shoulder slumped down, the nonchalant look crumbling into a guilty frown. Khun took a deep breath at the sight, lowering his hands as Evolet averted his gaze.
“I didn’t want to make anyone worried...”
“Well congratulations, you’ve already failed spectacularly at that.”
“I’m taking you to the doctor, bundle up.” Evolet didn’t protest any further when Khun threatened to carry her if she didn't move.
"Khun-san… I can go in by myself."
"And then you're going to lie about the results so as to not make us worry?" She looked away awkwardly from the sentence, knowing it would be useless to protest since that was what she had originally planned.
It was to be expected that her lungs were nearly filled with daffodils. Vines wrapping around her lungs dangerously, threatening to choke her. The doctor said it'll be a miracle if she could live for another week. She knew the options left were either death or taking the surgery. If she took the surgery, then her feelings for Bam would be removed completely and she would have to take the risk of forgetting all of her memories of him. Reciprocation of her feelings would be impossible and she understood it well. But he seemed to be happy with Rachel anyway, was there anything to worry about?
"I'll take the surgery."
Khun snapped his head towards Evolet, a rare expression of surprise written all over his face. True, it wasn't an option that she would've chosen voluntarily or by force on that matter. But the least she could do was alleviate their worries.
"You would've forced me to either way wouldn't you, Khun-san…?" He found himself nodding out of impulse.
"Then, I'll schedule the surgery in 2 days if that's fine with you."
"Yes, that'll do."
Bam was unaware of the things happening to Evolet, attention solely focused on Rachel who demanded it constantly. It's not as if he didn't like pampering her, on the contrary Bam loved to do it. But it was taking a toll on his studies and the time he could spend with his friends. His grades were slowly, but surely dropping. He would often have to pull up all nighters just to keep his grades barely in place. After that incident in the park, Bam never saw Evolet too often anymore. It was technically his fault, considering that he would be too distracted in the lessons and would be gone by the end of it to rush to Rachel's side. That didn't stop his gaze from lingering on Evolet as she walked away from the class, her calm outgoing demeanour replaced with a silent dejected one.
There were many things that didn't sit well with him while he dated Rachel. Rachel was always stiff and didn't fit perfectly in his hold like Evolet did when he hugged her, as if she was out of place. A kiss on the cheek or the forehead never felt right when it wasn't Evolet. Rachel wouldn't hold his hands for long, always finding an excuse to get out of it while Evolet would gladly hold his hands with a fond smile until he was satisfied. They would go to places together, but she never seemed to enjoy it either. Everything felt forced and it was taxing him. He just missed Evolet, wanted to see her again. The regretful feeling in the park struck him once more, and he wondered if he made the wrong decision.
Bam decided he truly picked the wrong decision when he overheard Rachel's conversation that day. It was a coincidence. Rachel had forgotten the gift he gave her at the restaurant, and Bam delivered it to her dorm. He was just about to knock on the door when he heard his name in a conversation.
"It's so hard to keep a relationship with Bam… He's so clingy, plus annoying. Yura, if I wasn't doing this for you then I would've just avoided him completely you know. It took a lot of work just to get away from him in the first place. And even then he chased me to Tower University! Talk about creepy… But he always finds a way around it. Look at him with all of his friends! Happily spending his day around like it's nothing and still getting good grades. That was supposed to be me."
Bam froze behind the door, listening intently with a somber look on his face. All of it was a lie. He didn't want to believe it, but the proof was right in front of him. That was unmistakably Rachel's voice.
"Now, now– At least now that you're fake dating him, his grades are going down steadily. And as expected, that Evolet girl didn't seem to take it well either. Have you seen her lately? It's almost like she's about to drop dead any day now. She didn't even enter class today, that Khun guy went to search for her after the lesson. Don't know what happened in the end though. We killed two birds with one stone."
"Serves her right–"
Bam gritted his teeth, he's had quite enough of this. He just barged into their room, a fierce intimidating glare fixed in place. "What is the meaning of this, Rachel?"
The two girls were evidently surprised at the intrusion, but quickly composed themselves. Yura was the one who stood up first, irritation and exasperation clear in her eyes. “Why are you so persistent! You were the one who followed Rachel here when she didn't want to see you!! You sure are obsessive!!”
“Stay out of this. It doesn’t involve you.” Bam replied with a cold tone. He directed his glare to Rachel who was staring at him with envy and animosity. She sneered at him, not bothering to hide anything since it seemed like he already heard it anyway.
"I don’t understand, Rachel.”
“That’s right!! You would never be able to understand me. You have EVERYTHING!!! Good grades, a strong body and mind, friends surrounding you, someone who cherishes you deeply! That’s why– you’re different from me! You’ll never, ever understand me! We’re all competitors here anyway, it’s only obvious that somebody has to lessen the competition somehow. Tower University isn’t someplace where you can just have fun with your friends without worrying about your achievements, grades, and reputation. And yet you… Ugh–!!! JUST GO AWAY!!!”
Bam stood still in the doorway, still taken aback from the words Rachel said. He didn’t understand what was there to be jealous about. He was the same as everyone else. He properly took the entrance tests and earned his spot. Countless nights were spent studying with Evolet till the break of dawn when there were particularly intense exams. It wasn’t as if Rachel didn’t have friends from what Bam could see. He told every single one of his opinions to Rachel. Just to make it clear rather than for anything else, since Rachel was looking exceedingly fuming with each word he uttered. Just as he was about to voice his last remark, he paused. Does he cherish Rachel more than… anyone else? He hesitated slightly at the last thought, the mention of Evolet earlier plaguing his mind. Would he be lying if he said he still thinks of Rachel as his most precious person? He couldn’t shake off the crestfallen look Evolet had at the park, how his hands reached out to her but his feet couldn’t muster the strength to move. All of the sudden he had this urge to see Evolet at once, as if he wanted to confirm something. Something told him he would regret it dearly if he didn’t go now. And that’s exactly what he did. He ran out of the room at full speed, ignoring Rachel’s enraged shouts from the room he just left.
He sprinted to Evolet’s apartment, the distance quite close from where the university was. It didn’t even take 10 minutes for him to arrive. All the while panting, Bam called out Evolet’s name in hope that she’ll open the door and greet him like usual. He could feel his heart drop to his stomach from dread when the door didn’t open no matter how long he waited. He speeded downstairs in a hurry, this time heading to Khun’s apartment room. He heaved a sigh in relief when Khun opened the door rather quickly. Though Bam didn’t miss how Khun’s eyes sharpened at the sight of him before it was concealed by the usual friendly casual look he had. He couldn’t blame him either, considering how he’s been busy with Rachel and he’s been practically ignoring them for her sake.
"Bam? Why are you here? What about Rachel?"
He looked away from Khun, laughing awkwardly as he informed him that they broke up for various reasons. Eyebrows raised, Khun was just about to invite him when he refused. Rather inquiring about Evolet's whereabouts. At the question, Khun seemed to contemplate for a moment before he grabbed a navy blue jacket before telling Bam he came at the right time since he was just about to visit Evolet. Bam stared at the jacket quizzically, wondering where Evolet would be if Khun needed to wear a jacket before going.
They took a cab, Khun telling the driver to head to Shinsu hospital. No matter how much Bam would pester him to answer why they're heading to the hospital, Khun wouldn't answer and told him to wait. Bam looked around the lobby restlessly, somewhat concerned they were in the hospital when Khun told him they were going to visit Evolet. He glanced at Khun, noting how he appeared to be rather alarmed about something. Frowning at his frazzled state, Bam walked over to him and attempted to figure out the reason. He caught bits and pieces of the conversation as he drew nearer. The receptionist was trying to explain to Khun about something.
“Ms. Evolet cancelled her Hanahaki surgery appointment the same day as she booked it.”
Bam came to a full stop at the word, freezing in his spot as realization dawned upon him. He’s heard that word somewhere before. An image of a single yellow petal floating in the air flashed in his mind. Out of reflex, Bam clutched his head and his brows furrowed as he forced himself to remember. There was something lingering at the back of his mind, uneasiness started creeping upon him.
“Daffodils.” someone uttered it out. He didn’t react when Khun tugged him along, sprinting towards the nearest cab and telling the driver to rush to Evolet’s apartment. He stilled during the short ride, staying silent as memories started rushing into his mind like a broken dam. Khun was too worried to even notice how Bam’s eyes started widening in horror as he began to remember. He’s made a terrible mistake. History was repeating itself again, fate sprouting a cruel grin as it watched everything unfold yet again.
He knew who was standing in the lavender field. Tears welled up on the corners of his eyes, rolling down in big fat drops. His solace, the irreplaceable sense of safety and warmth that would accompany him whenever he spent time with her. The warm loving smile that spoke of the endless volumes of her affection and the soft blue-violet eyes which held nothing but adoration from the first time they met.
"My name is Bam. Who are you?"
"I am… Evolet."
“Will you become my friend?”
“Of course, Bam. Anything for you.”
It was never Rachel, never has been from the very beginning. But he didn’t realize, again. She was right in front of his eyes the whole time, standing beside him and never out of reach. He was the one who pushed her away under his own volition– That foreboding feeling, he could feel his stomach churning. Everything was exactly the same as it was all before.
"Who am I to you?"
"Hm? What are you saying, Bam? You are yourself, simply the 25th Bam. The most important person in my life."
Bam was sure he realized all of it unconsciously. He still made the wrong choice, and he dreaded the possibility of regretting the worst decision he’s made yet again. He was running through the lavender field, heading to the clearing where he knew she would be waiting. Evolet was lying down on the grassy ground, gazing at the sky with a peaceful expression. Bam waved his hand, excitedly shouted his greetings as she smiled softly at the sight of him, as she’s always done. As he was nearing, he tackled the girl who was now standing into a hug, earning bouts of melodious laughter. That’s why the hugs never felt wrong with her, those were the hugs he’s used to after all this time. They stayed in the hug for a few moments before separating, and the girl frowned at the sight of wounds on Bam. Already expecting this to happen, the girl whipped up a first aid kit and started patching him up. She grumbled, reprimanding him for getting injured most of the time when he came here and that he should stop getting hurt so much. Bam’s head drooped down guiltily at that. But he inwardly smiled, aware that the girl would always be ready to heal him. The warmth of her touch soothed his pain, and he thinks he wouldn’t mind getting hurt as long as she’s there. But she wasn’t, and it was all going to be all his fault all over again.
“Bam, who is Rachel?”
He perked up at the mention of her name, eagerly telling Evolet stories of Rachel. There was a momentary flash of hurt in her eyes, disappearing as soon as it appeared. He noticed it all, the way her smile became shaky at the mention and how she wished all of it would stop. In the past, he didn’t pick up on it and he hurt her unknowingly.
She was weaving a flower crown out of lavender when Bam visited her this time. As always, they both smiled at the sight of each other. Bam sat down as the girl stood up and caringly placed the finished lavender crown flower on his head. She placed her hands on his cheeks, leaning down to kiss his forehead tenderly. Bam brought a hand up to his forehead, touching the place where she kissed him. He recognized that feeling, it never changed no matter how much time passed. All of Evolet’s affectionate gestures were one and the same, be it the past or the present. It took a moment to register before he blushed fervently, heart melting at the sight of Evolet smiling lovingly at him. If it was possible, he wanted to stare at that smile forever. He didn’t get any flower crown this time round. Time always felt too fast whenever he spent time with her. But he stood up anyway, preparing to go back lest he gets scolded for returning late. Bam remembers the question. The very same question that brought their ruin. Except this time she didn’t ask. He was the one who had foolishly gave an answer before she even asked the question, and they were going to pay the price once more.
"Bam, do you love Rachel…?"
"With all of my heart." He had answered resolutely.
Evolet froze for a moment before her expression was taken over by something indescribable to the past Bam. Her eyes took on a glossy sheen as she forced a smile that spoke of resignation. There was a melancholic tone in her voice as she spoke her farewell to Bam. He knows that expression, seen it once again in this life with the words he said on his own. He noticed the tears streaming down her face and the choked sobs as he walked away, still donning the lavender flower crown. He didn’t have the flower crown in this lifetime, but he recognized how she was the one to walk away this time when he pushed her away unknowingly. Fate was running its course once more despite how some things had changed. He knows of the lone yellow petal fluttering in the wind on his way back home. The oddity in the lavender field brought upon unease to him, as if a bad omen was approaching. Those dreams stopping wasn’t a sign of him choosing the right decision. It was fate cutting their strings with a cruel grin.
They were walking on the very same path that led to their doom. He could only watch on as the past him in the memories returned to the lavender field with desperate shouts, calling out for the girl he’d come to love all of his life. How he ran without caring for the aching pain from his legs. Running out of breaths from the falls when he tripped, but getting right back up as he continued to sprint endlessly toward their rendezvous place. Be it the past him or the present him, they were both crying with cracked voices as soon as they saw the sight.
The cab came to a screeching stop and Khun paid the driver in a hurry before the duo ran to Evolet's apartment. Perhaps it was due to the fact that they finally arrived, but Bam could feel his breaths coming in shorter as they neared Evolet's room and his heart would stop pounding from the fear. Fear that everything would be the same as it was previously. He watched with bated breath as Khun picked the lock easily within seconds and Bam was the first one to rush to Evolet's room. The door slammed open, and Bam dreadfully knows of the same exact reenactment of the past.
The contrasting view of yellow daffodils surrounding her instead of the purple lavender. A breathless body that’s gone still and cold, clutching a single perfect unblemished yellow daffodil dearly to her chest with the last of her strength. Bam held Evolet’s unmoving corpse close to his chest, weeping and screaming as he asked for her to come back in anguish. Evolet was completely unaware of it in her eternal sleep, a wistful smile forever etched on her expression. Had it been the Bam in the past, he wouldn’t have known the reason behind Evolet’s apparent death. But he is properly aware of the reason.
Bam’s blood ran cold at the sight, it was a repeat all over again and he hated it to no end. Catching the sight of a withered bouquet at the table as he rushed to Evolet who was once more surrounded by yellow daffodils, all of them fully intact and mostly perfect save the bloodstains on a few of them. His body was tense. Nearly hyperventilating as he cradled Evolet close to his chest and begged for her to open her eyes, to show him the mesmerizing blue-violet orbs that he cherished deeply. As if the Gods were finally showing them mercy, Evolet’s eyes cracked open slightly. Pale, trembling features as she tried to focus her gaze on Bam. He could feel himself choking at the sight, beads of tears streaming down and dropping right on Evolet who attempted to bring herself closer to Bam’s chest. He welcomed it, hugging her closer and leaning her ear against his heart so she could hear his heartbeats. Evolet appreciated the sentiment, humming lightly before she started closing her eyes again.
“Would you finally love me in our next life…?”
“Yes… yes. That’s why… Please, smile for me again, love?”
Bam’s sobs filled the otherwise silent room, holding Evolet’s still body to his chest. There was no response to his plea. Those were Evolet’s last words that he couldn’t hear in their past life. His thoughts went back to the very beginning when he met her in this lifetime. Brought together again by coincidence, or was it fate that wanted them to suffer once more? He now knows she remembered. Evolet’s memories remained, every single part of it. She was searching for him. They both found each other and gravitated towards one another. One with her memories intact, while the other was missing his. But Bam found himself beside her anyway despite his lack of memories. Except in this lifetime, he repeated the same mistake again. He wondered why he went away from her side despite the hollowness he felt as they distanced from each other.
“I love you.” Bam repeated the words over and over again like a broken record, trembling with each heart-wrenching sob that wracked his body.
“Won’t you please open your eyes again one more time, Eve?”
He coughs up lavender with a regretful smile, but he welcomes the solace of death all the same.