A Thousand Little Vases: These Fissures, They Break So Quietly

July 21, 2015 in A Thousand Little Vases, moonrise31 by moonrise31

A metaphor I once heard: When a vase shatters, it doesn’t break into a thousand little vases.

In other words: Something that has been torn apart can never be returned to its original form.

But consider: This something, pieced together with tireless effort and unending care, can still become something beautiful.

These Fissures, They Break So Quietly

“Did you know that Yuri is here as well?”

“No…I had no idea.”

Tiffany’s agitated translations rattled in Sunny’s skull. They couldn’t be word-for-word, she knew, but the meaning was clear enough.

It was also a lie, of course.

That interview in Hong Kong had been months ago. September 30th stayed even further in the past. The eight of them had kept busy: first Tokyo Dome, followed by various solo activities. And they’d talked with Jessica a lot in those first days. A simple “How are you”, or “I know you don’t have time to eat but we ordered from that one Chinese place you like and there’s leftovers at the dorm”, or “Those sunglasses look really good, Sica!”

Anything to avoid the “We had the music video reshoot today (without you)” and “We rearranged ‘Into The New World’ so maknae will stop crying (because you’re gone)” and “We’re thinking of really amping up our next Korean comeback (featuring the eight remaining members)“.

Which was why Jessica had known precisely when Yuri had arrived in Hong Kong. Yuri had, in fact, told her a week prior to the trip. And had been the first one of the eight to meet with Jessica after that day, if only for the half-hour it took before cameras would catch wind of them.

“She looks good,” Yuri later told the rest, huddled in the dorm only Taeyeon, Sunny, and Tiffany lived in, but could now boast (almost) full occupancy more frequently than usual, besides when they actually had promotions. “She’s happy.”

And technically, they all could be. Happy. Business had gone on as usual (because when would it not), the backlash had been managed more or less, and they’d sat down and had had their future outlined in no uncertain details. But they could all definitely be happier.

When she wasn’t out of the country, Jessica did manage to keep in touch. Most of it happened inside the SM building, because anywhere outside ran a risk of publicity.

But why? Sunny wanted to ask it, to scream it at the top of her lungs. What was so bad about their continued friendship that warranted this much secrecy?

Because when Jessica stopped by the meeting room, or the recording booth, or the dance studio, everything seemed better. For fifteen or twenty minutes, they could forget the past year. Sunny could board her very own time machine, taking her back to when all the nine of them had to worry about was the next schedule, the next concert, the next comeback.

Never whether their time had come.

They’d been asked this question many times, of course. What goes up, must come down, Sunny understood — a basic law of physics. But going up as nine? Only to go down as eight?

She dared not count any lower.

Sunny also didn’t try to understand why that subtraction had happened the way it did. Jessica stayed purposely vague when approached about it, throwing up the smile she had so carefully developed for the public eye, one that the rest all readily recognized. One that they all desperately tried to avoid, especially now. Because while Sunny didn’t understand a lot of what had gone on since that day, she did know that they had to keep Jessica. Which meant things like knowing why got thrown out the window for the reporters and fans waiting below to speculate on instead. It made her heart ache.

But she also knew that she’d be absolutely torn in two if Jessica disappeared completely.

Jessica, she’d wanted to say that one lonely night in her radio DJ booth, offering her heart and the dorm and all of their open arms to the airwaves. Jessica, I’m talking to you.

Their “GG” chat in Kakao (carefully distinguished from “GG8”) had a new message when she’d finally finished.

[Jessica] Great show, Soonkyu!

Sunny took those three words and committed them to memory, using them to patch up the cracks in the facade she had to put up whenever she stepped out to face the world.

And those moments that they still did share, the ones so meticulously hidden from outside eyes (eyes that cried even more than the ones that glared, which only made her own that much more teary), whisked Sunny away with a laugh in her throat and a smile on her lips.

Her trips to the past always ended far too soon. But Sunny would rather have hope tugged from her repeatedly — more gentle than a pull, but more definite than the nothing she wished was there instead — than realize that none had existed in the first place.