August 2nd, 2008


Gutterflower /5

zero / one / two / three / four

$4.95, $2.95, $8.99…

Hour 6 was always the worst. Yunho could see, see the end of his shift, but it was still so agonizingly far away.

$1.20, $0.99, $4.95…

Then again, what was there to look forward to, really? He’d have a few beers, sitting on the curb outside the store with Donghae when they both got off shift, and then he’d wander home in the dark, eating the leftover whatever that his mother left him, and lie on his back staring at the ceiling for a few hours before sleeping.

$3.50, $9.99, $1.00…

And then the cycle would begin again.

$5.00, $2.60, $18.58…

The boredom of a never-ending flow of knickknacks and snacks merged into a never-ending flow of boxes as the hour ticked away to be replaced by yet another. He could feel his mind glazing as he stacked the shelves. Vile looking frozen food packs chilled his fingers and he slotted them neatly into place, straightening the price tags and filling in the empty spaces.

Chicken Portobello. Looked like dog food to him.

Alfredo Pasta. Vomit, with veggie chunks.

Then it was magazines. Angelina and Anorexic Nicole Richie, front and center. Breakup for Na-Young? off to the left. Na-Young’s relationship bliss, on the right. Mutant alien baby… down on the bottom shelf.

And that was the only reason he actually spotted him. Yunho stood there with a stack of glossy magazines covered with a badly shot paparazzi picture of blurry figure in black, the headline, ‘Rocker on the Run?’ blaring out in huge letters, and found himself looking into a deathly pale, gaunt looking face over the top of the isle shelves.

Not that he noticed Yunho. But even after he’d paid at the register with Donghae, Yunho was standing there, staring, with magazines sliding off his arm.