"Luckily, it's not that bad. I'll patch it up for you real quick. Hey, Lee Know, get her some ice." Chan shifts his attention from me to MinHo.
I want to object and insist I don't need any ice, but I know they won't believe me. I almost fell trying to make my way back to the kitchen. I would've landed on my face if HyunJin hadn't been walking the opposite way.
"Does it hurt bad?" JiSung asks as he rubs at the back of his neck. I can see the pain in his eyes. He thinks it's his fault I can barely walk.
"It's not just from falling. I promise." I mumble as I watch Chan delicately place a bandaid over the cut. I hiss under my breath in pain.
"Don't lie. You're just trying to make me feel better." JiSung sighs as he sits on the ground next to Chan. He reaches up to take the ice pack from MinHo before delicately placing it on my skin.
"I'm not lying. I have bad knees. They give out on me all the time." I explain weakly as I recall the time they gave out on me in the middle of a basketball game. I remember the way people looked at me and started whispering. It was horrifying.
"I don't know if I should believe you or not." JiSung glances up at me as Chan gets to his feet.
I chuckle softly, slightly amused by his lack of trust in me. Most people just take what I say and don't argue. He's putting up a fight when he's going to lose.
"My knees aren't my only problem. It's my hips, my wrists, my ankles, you name it and it's a problem." I begin breaking out of my shell, before reality snaps me back into it. I shouldn't be talking so freely to him. He's an idol. He's someone I shouldn't have even came into contact with, yet here I am sitting in his home in his clothes while he sits in front of me.
"Really?" His face grows grim as he suddenly believes me.
"Yeah. Arthritis. I've had it since I was twelve." I shrug as I glance over at the clock on their stove. My heart drops. I hadn't realized how late it really was. If I'm not home soon, my parents will wake up and freak out.
"You need to get home." JiSung mumbles as he pulls the ice away from my skin.
"Hm? Oh—I'll help you. I don't want you falling on your way there." Chan hops up from the couch and hurries toward us. He picks up my jeans before holding his hand out for mine.
JiSung eyes him, but quickly looks away. He sets the ice pack in the sink and makes his way out of the kitchen. I look in his direction for a second before grabbing Chan's hand.
"What floor do you live on?" Chan asks as he pulls the door to the hall open.
"Sixth." I mumble as I steal one last glance at JiSung.
"Really? What apartment number?" Chan turns to me in shock.
"610." I look at him in confusion before looking at my surroundings.
No more than ten feet away sits my apartment door. Chan chuckles and shakes his head before helping me toward the door.
"I'm shocked we haven't run into each other sooner." Chan smiles as he releases his grip on me.
I return his smile, but much more awkwardly. He glances back at their apartment door before looking down at my legs.
"You'll have to let us know how you're doing tomorrow. I'm sure JiSung won't sleep tonight because he'll be worried about you. Don't worry about giving his pants back though. I'll pick him up a new pair." Chan places his hand on my shoulder and squeezes before handing me my jeans. He turns and begins heading back toward their apartment.
The feeling of his hands on me isn't as bad as it usually is. In a way, it's actually comforting, but not as comforting as JiSung's had been. I try to distract myself from the tingling sensation by fumbling with the keypad. I quickly type in the code before tugging the door open and slipping inside. I press my back to the door and drop my jeans on the ground.
It's not real. It's just a dream. Everything that's somewhat good is always a dream. Nothing good ever happens to me. I take a shaky breath and use the wall to get myself back on my feet. I take my coat off and hang it up before grabbing my jeans and hobbling my way to my room.
I set my jeans on my desk and slowly make my way toward the bathroom. I need to get a better look at my knee. I'm sure Chan did a great job patching me up, but I need to make sure there isn't any bruising. I carefully lower the sweatpants down over my knee and sit down on the edge of the tub. I lean forward to examine it.
The last time I fell on my knee, I spent months in physical therapy. It was awful. I hated every second of it. It was stressful and painful in every way. There were times I wanted to hop out of the third story window just to get away from it.
I delicately take my knee in my hands. It's swollen—like always—but other than a faint bruise, it doesn't seem too horrible. I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with it. Hopefully it'll feel better when I wake up.
I get to my feet and pull the sweatpants back up. I stand at the mirror once again. My reflection stares back at me as I grip tightly onto the counter. I look horrible. I came face to face with one of my favorite idol groups looking like a mess. To be honest, they probably thought I looked rough because of JiSung bumping into me. That probably put him more on edge, too.
I sigh and turn the water on before leaning down to splash my face a few times. I don't have the patience to actually wash my face. The two nights without sleep are finally catching up to me and the tingling of my skin is slowly turning to warmth. I imagine this is how other people feel when someone touches them. I never realized what I was missing out on until now.
I flip the bathroom lights off and make my way toward bed. As I attempt to carefully lift my leg, I hear the sound of crinkling paper. Out of confusion, I reach into the pocket of the sweatpants. I pull out a small piece of paper with a number on it. Does JiSung know it was there? I'm sure it's not for me.
I set it on the night stand and crawl into bed. I pull my blanket up over me and roll onto my side to grab my stuffed octopus. I hold him tightly to my chest and close my eyes. I've never been one to fall asleep easily, but with everything that's happened in the last hour or two, my body is so exhausted that it takes over without much hesitation.