You love him. You love him.
“I know. I heard you the first bajillion times,” your best friend scoffed beside you. You were saying it out loud, apparently. It was dark and you didn’t turn to see his face, but you knew his eye roll followed. He’d done it a bajillion times before too.
“Sorry,” you said, grinning, though you weren’t really. “I mean look at him.”
That was what you were here for, precisely. In this dark, smoky bar on a school night, two hours of traffic away from where you and your friend both lived. Standing at the back behind rows of other patrons and other fans, all faces turned to the front of the room and all gazes locked to the boy singing, swaying, sparkling onstage. You were here for him and his beautiful face and beautiful sound and not much else.
You’ve loved this artist for as long as you’d loved his genre–synth pop funk R&B swag–and you’ve seen him perform live (yes) a bajillion times. But your love was enduring, escalating, even. To the unending gripe of your constant companion.
“Why do we keep staying at the back? If you love him so much.” Your friend leaned down, all the better to knock his shoulder with yours as he said it.
“I can’t stand his light,” you said. Pink and yellow strobes of light, bright and neon scanned the floor as a new beat began, as if on cue. “I can’t look at him too close, for too long. It blinds me.”
You’ve had this conversation before. You didn’t know if your friend just liked asking the question, or if he was hoping you’d give a different answer. Maybe you should really stop dragging him into these shows. He was all about the punk rock after all, none of these dropping beats and boom boom bass. You’d even told him a few times before that he was off the hook and you’d be fine going to these shows on your own. He had seem relieved, and he’d rolled his eyes. But in the end he would come. He always did.
The song was swelling, the bass drops pounding, deafening. The boy you loved was deep into his verse, words spinning out of his lovely mouth. Head, shoulders, hips, knees, arms moving to the jagged rhythm. The crowd was going wild. You were jumping and hollering words back yourself.
Your friend bumped your shoulder again, and you saw his mouth move. He liked to do this a lot too. Talk when you weren’t in any place for a conversation. You shook your head, taking his wrist and mouthing ‘later.’ You turned your gaze back to the stage just as the beat and the neon lights died. The silence stayed for another moment, it couldn’t have been more than two seconds, when you heard it.
“How about looking at me?” The wrist you were holding had broken free, and it was his fingers meeting yours. “Can it be me?”
Choi Seunghyun and Park Bongsoo for the prompt.