Summary: Jonghyun tells a story about what would happen if he was forced out of SHINee broke up...what would happen if he no longer had his brothers.
(If you have read any of my other stories you should already know this. It has a happy ending XD)
When I was a little boy, I used to make lists of what I wanted in life. They always consisted of the same basic things, some more prominent than others. For one thing, I always knew that I was going to be a singer. No matter what, I would stop at absolutely nothing to make my name known to the world. And I did, when I was at the ripe age of just eighteen, I made my debut with a group of four other boys.
We called ourselves “SHINee,” pronounced like “Shiny,” it was picked because that’s what we always were, and spelled with two Es simply because we could. We were all inexperienced and immature, but out debut track “Replay” made waves in the music industry. Before long, we were turning out hit after hit. In our first year alone, we released three albums and even multiple versions of them. But then our one year anniversary came up and the founder of SME, our entertainment company, called us in for a meeting. We were all excited and hyped up over the fact that we had just released our fourth music video until we heard what he had to tell us.
When Lee Soo Man looked me in the eyes and told us that he was breaking up SHINee, I cried. We all cried and begged the older man to let us stay together, but it was to no avail. Nothing about it made any sense either. We had just released “Romeo,” our second mini album, and it had been an immediate success. We had brand new looks, complimentary to one of my band mate’s skill with hair. Everything had been in place for us to follow in the footsteps of the music legends “DBSK,” and then it was just...over. None of us knew what we would do with ourselves after that. We were still all a part of SME, but we had no more direction.
In the following months, our fates were made clear. I was to become a solo artist, sure to be famous everywhere. Kibum and Jinki, my ex-band mate and ex-leader, formed into a small duo group. They both spoke fluent English and debuted in America merely six months after our breakup. The worst part, though, were the fates of our two youngest members. Neither of them were vocally strong, one being a rapper and the other a dancer, so they really had no where to go. They left SME together on the same day that Kibum and Jinki departed for America.
I soon found myself to be nineteen and very much alone. My debut as a soloist had been a hit. The performance was brilliant on the outside, but inside I was screaming. I had no one to help me with nerves before the performance, and by the time it was my turn to go on, I was a mess of anxiety and nauseous with homesickness. I wanted my boys back.
The following years were filled with nothing but pain and heartache for me. As my fame and fortune grew to levels almost surpassing DBSK, so did my unhappiness. I lived in a pent house apartment, filled to the brim with lavish furnishings and ornate decor. I never left the building without one of my favorite Rolex watches, and it was rare that I wasn’t dressed in a ridiculously expensive suit. I had everything that I had ever dreamed of as a child, and I was utterly depressed. Surrounded by all of my damn things, I was completely alone. Throughout my early twenties, women came and went, passing me like the rapidly changing seasons and never staying the same, but I never had anything that lasted.
I later learned the fate of my ex-band mates, though I was better known than them, they seemed to have done better. Jinki, Kibum, and I saw each other maybe six times in five years. Their undying relationship still shined bright, much like SHINee had in our early days. They had a huge fan base in America, and somehow, in a world filled with greed and pain, they still found happiness. Taemin and Minho, however, I couldn’t be sure.
Taemin pursued a career in dancing, and by the time he turned twenty one, he was one of the most sought after choreographers in the East. Along with Minho, he built a multi-million dollar franchise that later turned into “2Min Entertainment.” It was sickeningly ironic. They took the same name that their pairing had been given back when they were part of SME and used it for themselves. The artists in their label would go on to sell albums that sometimes dominated mine. I never knew if they found happiness, though. I think that they blamed me for ruining their chances in the music industry. After the day they left SME, I never saw them again unless it was for business, and even then, the words spoken were harsh and cold. Honestly, I blamed myself, too.
In the spring that I turned twenty eight, I became the first man to ever break DBSK’s record of having the largest fan club in the world, and yet, I felt no sense of achievement. That award was meant to be won by SHINee, not me. When I got my copy of the record book, I used a bright blue permanent marker to scratch out my name, scribbled “SHINee” across the page, and downed a bottle of Moet Chardon. Kibum and Jinki placed a long distance call from their place living on their estate in America just to congratulate me...apparently. I was too drunk to remember. My life was exactly as I had planned, and I hated it. As it turns out, my father had been right when he said that kids don’t know what they want.
That’s how I found myself, a twenty eight year old man, so alone that I often teetered on the brinks of insanity. By the time my thirtieth birthday rolled around, I retired and retreated to hide in my apartment, surrounded by all my things. And then, when it became to painful to bear any longer, I found myself perched lithely on the edge of my roof, a bottle of my beloved Moet Chardon in each hand. There was a crowd of people below me, all yelling my name and begging me to calm down, but their voices barely penetrated my intoxicated fog. When I had finished my last bottle of alcohol, I could feel my whole body begin to shake. The ground below me loomed far away and welcoming as I inched forward. In the back of my mind, I could have sworn that I heard Jinki’s voice calling my name. I turned and was shocked to see all of my former band mates watching me in horror. But by then it was too late and I was plunging towards the earth, Jinki’s voice ringing dimly in my ears. My face felt cold, surprising because it had been numb with tears just a moment prior, and I was braced for the impact that didn’t come. Instead, I felt two bare arms wrapped around my naked shoulders, again surprising because I was just dressed moments before. My eyes, that I didn’t remember closing, snapped open and I was shocked to find myself back in my old dorm. There were four sets of hands all around me and a gentle voice in my ear, begging me to calm down. After a few moments of sucking in much needed air, I realized that I was, in fact, lying on Jinki’s bed, surrounded by my band mates.
“It was just a nightmare,” Jinki breathed, slowly rocking me back and forth. Kibum was busy wiping the beads of sweat from my face with a cold towel and watching me with concern.
“Hyung, are you okay?” Taemin asked and I turned my head to see him seated on Minho’s bunk, wrapped in the older boy’s embrace. Then, forgetting the fact that I was actually nineteen and should have been trying to get some composure, I threw my arms around Jinki’s neck and dissolved into a mess of sobs. I didn’t know exactly why I was crying so hard because I wasn’t actually sad. I was still at home, still gay, still a part of SHINee, and we still shined.Also, please be kind XD I have bronchitis :P not fun lmao