2:05 p.m. ▸ lee heeseung realized he had been sad for a while now.
he didn’t come to realize this at two in the morning when the world was quiet and he was vulnerable to the emotions that laid bare in his mattress. he didn’t come to realize this in the darkness where he sat in solitude, consumed by nothing but his own sorrow.
no, heeseung realized this at two in the afternoon when he was with his best friend, shim jaeyoon, half-way through a laugh when he abruptly paused. his face crumbled, unbeknown to jaeyoon, and heeseung felt a sharp pang of sadness. he found it heartbreaking that he was surrounded by the people he loved, yet he felt like they couldn’t see him drowning.
so, when you entered heeseung’s life—a blessing in disguise—he wasn’t even shocked when he found out you were an angel.
yes, an angel, with wings brighter than heeseung had ever seen, and a touch that healed him of all the evil in the world. he felt it when he squeezed your hand, when he heard you laugh at one of his stupid jokes, when your bright smile rivaled the sun.
you liked that little giggle heeseung did when he was nervous. you liked the way he squinted a little when he was concentrating. you liked the way he smiled shyly at you. more importantly, you liked heeseung too much for your own good.
and because you were his guardian angel, heeseung knew deep down that you could never be his. even when your lips were pressed against his, when your hands were running through his hair, heeseung knew that one day, when balance was restored, you would leave him.
life didn’t turn around because of you, though. heeseung liked to think it did, but it happened naturally like most things did. he cruised for a while, encountered some bumps in the road, but once he found it in him to keep going, he could see that the road stretched far ahead.
“you brave a few hurricanes and you keep going,” you told him over your cup of ramen. “you’re lee heeseung. you can do anything.”
heeseung never doubted your words. you were an angel, after all; angels didn’t lie.
but heeseung could feel that storm brewing in his chest again. whenever he touched you, he felt scared. you were like glass in his hands, and heeseung was terrified that if he made the wrong move, you’d shatter and he’d never see you again.
that day would come eventually. you and heeseung knew very well that guardian angels only stayed until their work was done.
“your chapstick tastes like cherries today,” heeseung mumbled between a few desperate pecks, chasing your lips when you pulled away to reply.
“do you like it?” you smiled and cupped his cheek to pull him closer. “i’ll make sure to wear it more often.”
“it tastes really good,” heeseung said, leaning forward again only to be stopped by your finger against his lips.
“you look worried about something,” you brought up. “what’s on your mind?”
heeseung’s smile was a little off, but he managed.
“i love you,” he mumbled, brushing loose strands of hair behind your ear.
that was it. the three little words that heeseung wanted to convey before he feared you’d leave him.
heeseung wasn’t aware how you could build him up and break him into pieces in a matter of seconds, but you did so when you whispered back, “i love you, too.”
angels weren’t made to love.
but heeseung wasn’t ready to lose you, so he stayed with you. he stayed by your side for years to hold you and share his love.
the waves of sadness never really go away. they just wash over less often, less drastic. heeseung realized this when he laughed at something jaeyoon said at two in the afternoon. he laughed with his body—the way heeseung used to laugh before he felt like it was him against the world.
“do you think we’ll be together for a long time?” heeseung asked you once.
“i don’t know,” you answered honestly, entwining your fingers with his, “but i don’t regret being with you.”
oddly enough, heeseung felt at peace with your answer.
“i don’t regret it either,” he replied. “i’ve learned so much from you.”
eventually, you did walk out of heeseung’s life, and he had to come to terms with it.
he came to realize that you were never an angel. he was never your assignment. oftentimes, relationships simply consisted of building one another up and helping each other grow.
and perhaps all humans, at their core, were angels in disguise. they enter the lives of mortals, teach them to love, to save themselves, and then they leave. once they’re done, the angelic presence leaves their body and they exit the mortal’s life, becoming strangers once more.
heeseung guessed that perhaps guardian angel was just a term he preferred over first love.